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Bo Barry Icelar, a former Art Gallery owner and Kung Fu expert from New Mexico.
Bo Icelar was also a collector and dealer of Native American artifacts and liked to
grace his home with many valuable items.
Bo Icelar aka Bo Yancy and friend Sharon McConnell
2004 - Bo Icelar moved to the Bocas del Toroa area of Panama and purchased
property on Isla Colon where he built his house.
While in Panama, Bo Icelar began using the name of Bo "Yancy"
Like many other ex-pats, Bo started a company called "Iguana Limited Corp,"
He also created a Private Interest Foundation called the Fundacion.
Bo used his company to purchase his property and to build his house.
The lot was about 1.5 hectares and Bo designed his house, El Hogar De
Bo had several close friends among the expat community and was well liked
and respected, but he was a very private person. He wasn't one of the ex-pats
who frequented the party scene in Bocas del Toro.
THE NEIGHBORS GO MISSING
2007 - One of Bo's neighbors, a family by the name of Brown have disappeared.
Wild Bill Cortez (William Holbert) murders them one by one and dumps their
bodies into holes on their own property.
In a community where people come and go nobody thinks much of their
disappearance, it wasn't an unusual occurrence. And, as few people
really knew them, few remark upon their leaving.
However, the Brown's disappearance is still a singular occurrence due the
"new owners" of the Brown home, property and company.
William "Wild Bill" Adolfo Cortez Reese and his wife, Jena Seana Cortez tell
everyone that the Browns "sold" them their property. They promptly rename it
"Hacienda Cortez," open up a bar named "Villa Cortez" that sports a sign
bearing a skull and crossbones.
Cortez says he is from Mexico and that his father is some kind of a "rich" Mexican.
BO ICELAR DISAPPEARS
Bo Icelar loves Panama, but he didn't realize how isolated he would feel living
there. His best friend lives in Mississippi, and his sister is in the U.S. as
well. He has a few friends and acquaintances in Bocas del Toro and on
Isla Colon, but it's not the same.
Bo decides he wants to sell up and go back to the U.S.
"Wild Bill" Cortez hears that Bo is thinking of selling and contacts
him about the possibility of purchasing his property.
Bo speaks with his best friend back in the U.S. on the phone and tells them
that he's hopeful he might be able to sell the house quickly so he could be
home in time for the Christmas holidays. He also says the person who's
interested in buying supposedly has a lot of cash.
Bo tells friends that Bill Cortez offered to buy his property for $180,000 dollars
and that he "immediately rejected the offer and was "offended" by the low
price. "I have no intention of selling to "Wild Bill" for that price."
Bo Icelar has a last conversation with family members on the telephone
back in the U.S.
Bo Barry Icelar aka Bo Yancy disappears.
He's been murdered by William Holbert aka Wild Bill Cortez. It's likely
Bo was shot in his own home and then transported by boat to the
former Brown property, where he was buried.
Don Winner (Panama-guide.com) "I Think They Killed Bo Icelar At His House:
Once William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese were convinced
they knew everything they needed to know, Holbert simply drew the .22
caliber revolver that he carried with him at all times. He used it to kill Bo
Icelar, and he probably shot him right there in the house. A .22 doesn't
make a whole lot of noise and even if someone was standing outside of
the house not too far away, they probably would not have heard anything.
By then, the deed was done and all they had to do was clean up their
mess, do a little paperwork, and the house was theirs."
Confirmed By Confession: "Now that Holbert has been caught, as part of his
confession he admitted what I already suspected -
that he did in fact murder Bo Icelar at his house in
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
2009 - November 30 - Bo had contracted Carlos, the groundskeeper to help
him paint his house. Carlos arrives ready to work.
Instead, he's pretty much thrown off the property by
the "new owner."
Carlos is greeted by Wild Bill Cortez bellowing
"Who the hell are you and why are you here?"
Carlos explains he'd been contracted to paint the
the house, Cortez bellows "Bo's gone. I bought this
house. It's mine now, so get the hell out!"
Carlos got the hell out and left.
Wild Bill and Jena Cortez tell everyone that they had paid Bo Icelar for his property
in cash, that he left abruptly, and that they had no idea where he was.
Sandi Hodge "The Cortezes told me that Bo had left suddenly and sold them his
property at a reduced price, Hodge says people were surprised, but
mostly by the price. That struck me as very odd. It was the talk of
the town. I said, 'God, if I would've known he was going to give the
house away, we would've bought it."
Bo Icelar's abrupt departure was unexpected, but since he'd previously spoken
of leaving to go back to the U.S., alarm bells didn't go off. But people did wonder,
especially those who were closer to him.
Bo had injured his foot during a Kung Fu exhibition. The injury required surgery
and Bo was using a cane to walk with.
In Bo's house, hanging on a peg, is his cane.
THEFT - NEW OWNERS
2009 - December 9 - Bill and Jena Cortez hire a lawyer and file documents
taking over Bo "Yancy" Icelar's properties and companies.
THROWING A PARTY IN BO'S HOUSE
ANOTHER NEIGHBOR DISAPPEARS
It isn't until Cheryl "Cher" Hughes Werle disappears that people really begin
to talk and take notice that something isn't right.
Cher Hughes was a popular and well liked resident of Bocas del Toro. She
kept in touch with her husband Keith Werle daily, also with her family and
2010- March 20- Cheryl Hughes (53) is last seen by any of her neighbors and
friends at a party thrown by Wild Bill Cortez and his wife
Jena Cortez at their bar.
"Witnesses tell Cheryl Hughes' relatives "When the party (in March) wound
down, Cortez sent the other guests away but coaxed Hughes to stay behind,
saying the two had business to discuss."
As Cheryl is getting into a boat with a friend to go home, Wild Bill Cortez
tells her he wants to speak with her. He is rude to the person in the boat
telling her that what he wants to speak with Cheryl about is "private business
and none of yours." That person left.
Don Winner "On the day Cher disappeared, she was last seen getting into
Bill's boat and riding away with him towards his property where
they were going to supposedly discuss the possibility of him
buying her property."
Bill Cortez (William Holbert) shot Cheryl and buried her in a trash pit on the
former Brown property.
THEFT - NEW OWNERSHIP
"Wild Bill" Cortez and his wife Jena Cortez, take over Cheryl Hughes' home,
property, and company. They fired the employees of Cheryl's hotel, took down
her "Casa del Sapo" signs and put up their new sign, naming the place what
else, but "Casa Cortez."
SEARCH FOR ANSWERS
When the search for what happened to Cheryl Hughes Werle began, it was her
family, her husband, and her friends who were attempting to find answers.
One of Cher's friends contacted a former Air Force Intelligence officer, Don Winner,
who runs panama-guide.com, (a popular website with English-language news about
Once Don Winner became involved, things began to happen. He began digging
and found that not only Cheryl Hughes had disappeared suppposedly after "selling
property to Wild Bill and Jena Cortez, but, Bo Icelar and the Brown family had
also disappeared, and their property taken over by the same couple.
He also wrote about his suspicions, the activities of the Cortez couple,
and about Cheryl, Bo, and the Browns. The coconut telegraph made
things uncomfortable for Wild Bill and Jena Cortez. They made tracks
to the mountains.
Don Winner, Cher Hughe's family and friends went to authorities and prodded them
into investigating the disappearances and the activities of Wild Bill & Jena Cortez.
Little did anyone know that what they were dealing with was a serial killer with
his accomplice who killed and stole their victim's properties.
LOYAL DOG SOLVES THE CASE OF THE MISSING
2010 - July 20 - Investigators arrived on what used to be the Brown family's
property, but where Bill and Jena Cortez had been living.
Waiting for them there, was Jackie, an adult doberman pinscher
who adored his owner, Cheryl Hughes Werle. He led them to
Cheryl's grave, a trash pit.
While searching the property a second time, the investigators found Bo Icelar's
remains, and later, that of the Brown family, Michael, Watson, and Nan,
ON THE RUN - MANHUNT- CAPTURED
Bill Cortez and Jena Cortez are really William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese.
They've engaged in a crime spree that covers 6 states back in the U.S., been profiled
on America's Most Wanted, and suspected of murdering as many as 20 persons.
They hide out in Costa Rica and begin trying to meet owners who've advertised by
the Internet about selling their properties.
Thanks to Don Winner's efforts, their photos and information about them and their
activities in Panama is broadcast in the other nearby South American countries.
William Holbert and Laura Reese flee Costa Rica and attempt to enter Nicaragua.
They are captured by the National Police and extradited back to Panama where
they await trial for the murders there.
Holbert has confessed to killing Michael Brown, real name Michael Frances Salem,
Watson Brown (18) and Manchittha "Nan" Nankratoke aka Nan Brown, Cheryl "Cher"
Hughes Werle, and Bo Barry Icelar aka Yancy.
Angel Calderon "He (Holbert) has confessed to five homicides.
Homicide charges are also being filed against his partner,
Laura Michelle Reese.
"Not much is left (for authorities to do) for the case to go to trial."
Investigators are reviewing other "missing persons" who had contact with Holbert & Reese.
Police in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and the U.S. are also investigating
disappearances and property theft connected with Holbert & Reese.