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Silverton, Ore., Native Murdered on Roatan, Honduras

Michael Overfield, who was named Silverton’s First Citizen for 2000 and was known for his efforts to restore historical buildings in the small East Valley town, was shot and killed Feb. 27 on an island off the coast of Honduras. The 53-year-old developer moved to Central America about a decade ago, according to his son, Tim Overfield, who declined to discuss the details of his father’s death.

Overfield was killed outside of his home in Sandy Bay on the island of Roatan, about 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, according to the magazine Bay Islands Voice, headquartered in Roatan. He was returning from a boat trip with his son and was leaving his dock after tending to his boat when he was shot three times in the head at close range.

There are no details about the shooter. Police are investigating.

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Honduras appears finally to be publicly acknowledging the crime situation on the island paradise. The Bay Islands Voice reports that during a two-day visit to Roatan "Honduran National Police Chief Juan Carlos Bonilla (aka El Tigre) promised increased support to fight rising crime on the Bay Islands during a two-day visit to Roatan in February. He also gave out his personal cell phone number (9758-1730) and encouraged citizens to report police malfeasance directly to him.

Bonilla, while acknowledging corruption in the police, asked people not to 'throw us all into the same sack.” He said the “culture” in which police seek handouts from the community needed to be changed. But he said, “Our institutions are good. We need to change the people. We need to change attitudes.'"

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