A window, hidden behind black bars, illuminates the interior of the building where Samuel Chambers lived, a young environmentalist and defender of animals.
The last time that his neighbors saw him alive was 29 days ago, on one of his nocturnal trips, when he was walking through a gully in Guapulo, where he built his house years ago. From that place, located in the northern center of Quito, Chambers took long walks with his pets: two Siberian husky dogs and, sometimes, as many as half a dozen street dogs, feeding them daily.
This November 17, 2017, a few steps from his house there are only withered flowers, a kind of altar to the memory of the young man. On November 7, Segundo Sandoval, one of the neighbors, was looking for herbs for his guinea pigs. He entered the ravine and discovered a body, without a head. The discovery occurred at the side of a dirt road, covered by thickets of a forest known as La Acequia. At that time the identity of the victim was not known, but a day later, on Wednesday 8, it was confirmed that the body belonged to Samuel. His family identified him by a tattoo on his back.
Years ago, he drew the image of Alice in wonderland and the rabbit, characters from the children’s novel that fascinated him. “Even the tattoo artist identified him, but his head is missing,” says a relative, who acts as spokesman for the family and who prefers not to publish his identity. “Could it be that they hurt him for thinking differently?” Asks one of his friends, who describes the young man as “a being of light.”
Chambers, from his thoughts, to his way of dressing, caught the attention of everyone who knew him. He wore clothes made by him: colored tunics, smocks, and skirts that completely covered his feet. 10 days after the discovery of the body, the case sows doubts among family members. “We can only say that it is something very strange. They found him without a head “, comments a friend of this newspaper. Since the news was known, friends and family have expressed themselves through Facebook to demand that his death to be clarified as soon as possible.
The group ‘Justice for Samuel Chambers’ was created on Facebook. The young man, who would turn 26 this month, was a recognized defender of the rights of animals, sexual minorities and environmentalists. The relatives of the young man do not rule out that it is a hate crime. “We cannot guarantee anything, the police are already investigating, but there are friends who talk about alleged threats,” their relatives report.
Ignacio Castro, former leader of Guapulo, had known the young man since he arrived in the neighborhood more than five years ago. He ensures that the boy had no problems with the neighbors. But remember an episode where “strange people” threatened him. It happened a few months ago, says the resident, but he does not know the causes of those intimidations. Susana, Chambers’ neighbor, gives more clues. She says the threats occurred during the Guápulo festivities last September. And he says that Samuel had problems with “some people”, and that they wanted to burn his house. “Even the firemen had to intervene.”
What happened to the young man? On November 16, 2017, the newspaper EL COMERCIO sought a pronouncement from Víctor Araús, national director of the Department of Crimes Against Life (Dinased). The official said he was out of town and avoided giving information about the case. One of the agents of the Dinased warns that no further details can be given, because it could hinder the investigation. The authorities look for the head of the victim. In the police report on November 7, investigators warned that Chambers’ corpse may have been in the forest since October 20, precisely when his neighbors stopped seeing him in the streets of the neighborhood. The rodents even devoured part of their body and that made it difficult to identify it. (I)