[Fulano’s comment: This is the sad story of an elderly American named Lyle Alton Renner, from Oregon, who fell in love with a young Mexican girl, and sent her money from his meager savings to build a home so they could live together in Baja California Sur. When he arrived to see his new home, he found it was all a fraud: no girl, no home. Old and broke, he stayed with a Mexican friend in La Paz and drank himself to death. The State Attorney General then managed to lose his body (probably sold for a few pesos to a medical school, as there are many Americans with no family who come down there to die and their bodies go unclaimed.)]
La Paz, Baja California Sur -. The Attorney General of the State (PGJE) misplaced the body of an American citizen, named Lyle Alton Renner, born in South Dakota on March 11, 1935. After he died on 21 November this year at the Specialty General Hospital Juan Maria de Salvatierra, his friend sought to give him a burial, but after a series of supposed bureaucratic transfers of the body, prosecutors lost the deceased.
Lyle lived in Oregon, and was one of those snow birds coming down to the original California to spend the cold weather. For several seasons he rented a space from Mr. Mario Cesar Fuentes Telechea, and over the years they became friends. In the winter of 2012, things were a little different, because Lyle confessed to Mario of falling in love with a girl that helped with the cleaning. The man told his friend he would return in 2013, but would now live out his last years in a home that his fiance would construct with the money he sent during the year from his pension.
Upon returning to Mexico this year, he learned it was all an illusion. Lyle Alton found that he had been scammed. There was no house in La Paz, no money and, of course, no woman, so he moved in with his only Mexican friend for help. Lyle said he had no more financial resources, just a few dollars in a savings account, so without hesitation Mario Cesar Fuentes Telechea welcomed him into his home.
After a few weeks, in which the American did not stop drinking, his health, along with his mood, began to decline dramatically. He lived with Mario César, or “mister clean”, as he called him. One day when Mario returned from work, he found Alton Renner had fainted on the floor. He had fallen and was unconscious. The doctor told Mario, since Lyle did not speak Spanish, that the health of his friend was extremely critical. He was diagnosed with not having much time to live, because his liver was “destroyed”. After that one fall there was another, it had been less than a week, when trying to move from the couch in front of the TV to a chair, he had a new accident, which caused injuries to the forehead and upper lip, then he slammed his face against the rocking chair. That day was November 21. Lyle entered the hospital and did not come out alive.
“This year came, and came bad. With the problems with the girl, he went downhill, morale and all. When he came to me I put him in his little room and all, but he could not get back up, it was downright ugly […] Whatever happens, the doctor told me, call me and I will help you […] He fell here, and struck the chair, and I saw he was very hurt because his arm was bruised, then it turned black, I think something inside broke when he fell, and I was startled and I took him to the hospital and he never left. He arrived at the hospital at eight o’clock, and at twelve they told me he was going to die.”
This is when the process of trying hard to provide a proper burial for Lyle Alton started. Telechea Fuentes contacted the Renner family to inform them of the news, but the family of the American said the old man planned to die in Mexico, and they did not have enough money to travel to the Peninsula and take charge of the expenses. The Mexican consulate made the same communication and received the same answer, and froze his foreign accounts, which had about 16,000 pesos, and then gave the responsibility to Fuentes Telechea to bury him. Being his friend, he do not hesitate to pick up the body from the hospital and take him to the cemetery to be buried under a tombstone with his name, and not in a common grave. But, the hospital released the body to the public minister, where, after more than a week of visits and postponed appointments to have them deliver the remains, they confessed that just after Lyle’s body had arrived, it was taken without authorization, by unknown persons to an unknown destination, perhaps to an anonymous grave or study campus.
“The consulate said, look, his relatives do not want anything to do with him, he told them he was going to die in La Paz, so now how are we going to proceed?, They told me that as the family had no money to take the body, that if I could, that I could take care of him, and I said, oh yes, I wanted to bury him the next day, but that you would not let me [… ] I went to Salvatierra on 25 November and they told me, go ahead, take him, we are used to not having anyone come for the Americans who come here to die, ‘we just grab them and we put them down a well’ […] I put my name on a paper and I was handed the death certificate, I went home, and as soon as I arrived they called me from the hospital to bring back the death certificate. I returned and they behaved differently and they took back the death certificate that very same day, saying that they were going to ask the government for a burial plot. When I returned on Tuesday November 26, the body had been sent to prosecutor number 8 […] On Friday 29, the lawyer, América Lagos, of the public prosecutor’s office, told me ‘do not worry, the body is not leaving here.’ I told her it seemed like a joke to her, the way she spoke about my friend, and I was upset, she said ‘as for this worm-eaten body’, no body leaves here without permission, so I must trust her[…] I went back for several days and they always turned me away, saying to come back tomorrow. It was on Friday, December 6, and with a smile on her face, she told me ‘excuse me, but the body was buried on the 26th.’ What?, I said, ‘Yes, it was buried on the 26th. The same day that the hospital brought the body here it disappeared, taken away, it was stolen, she told me.”
Now Mr. Fuentes Telechea wonders where is the body of his friend, who he has been trying to bury since November 21, so it can finally rest in peace. I blame public ministers for being ignorant, arrogant and pushy, but mostly inept, and I am hoping that at some time the remains of American citizen Lyle Alton Renner reappear.
“I have not slept in fifteen days, I can not sleep. I do not know where my friend is, I do not know where he is. And he was my friend, he was not an animal or a thing, he was my friend. I want to know where he is.”