Things That Matter

Mother Hires Detective to Reopen Son’s Suicide Investigation, Believes He Was Murdered

After officials ruled her Air Force cadet son’s death in September 2020 a suicide, a Bolivian mother fought to reopen the investigation. Believing her only son was actually murdered, the mother hired a detective and claims he was killed by a roommate.

Bello is described as a “soldier and a martyr” that was allegedly “brutally murdered”

Alexander Bello was an Air Force cadet and electrical engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was from Virginia, where his family resides. Described as a “young and vibrant soul” by family, Bello was found with a gunshot wound to the head at his home on September 6, 2020. Investigators also found one 22-caliber shell casing, as well as a pool of blood.

He arrived to Halifax Health Medical Center and died the following day. Officials ruled the death a non-suspicious suicide. Bello lived with two roommates at the time, both Air Force cadets named John Burlein and Robert Kramer.

Bello’s mother Maria Lourdes Ortiz told Univision that today, she is “dead but alive” and that she feels “indescribable” pain. “It’s like they killed me inside, there is no greater pain and it doesn’t go away with time.”

His mother found his alleged suicide very suspicious

While investigators confirmed Bello’s death a suicide, his mother found it suspicious — and fought to reopen the investigation. As she describes it, her only son had once told her he had “problems” with one of his roommates. Even more, she spoke to her son the same day of his death, and he was “happy.”

That day, the mother says she received a call saying her son had fainted. She then got another call saying he had a gunshot in his head and no one could do “anything” about it. In tears, she remembered how she told her son at the hospital, “I can’t follow you to where you’re going.”

Officials told Ortiz her son committed suicide with a rifle while under the effect of psychedelic mushrooms, but says toxicology reports did not find them in his system. The mother hired a detective and looked into audio and video clips as forensic evidence. As per the Daytona Beach News-Journal, they analyzed audio recordings from Ring cameras at the home.

The mother says that audio clips show how there was a “physical struggle” before his death. She says you can hear Bello telling someone to “stop.”

Alexander deserved to serve his country, become a better person, have a family, and live his life.We seek justice for…

Publicado por Justice for Alexander Bello en Martes, 14 de junio de 2022

The family filed a lawsuit in hopes of finding justice

Now, the reopened investigation has been impulsed by a federal lawsuit by the family, which claims Bello was actually killed by his roommate. The lawsuit is against his roommate John Burlein, his father Joseph Burlein, and others.

The lawsuit alleges that roommate John Burlein shot Bello, and admitted it on a call to his father afterwards.

It says Burlein and a friend tried to steal a rifle Bello was keeping in his room for someone. The other roommate was not at home at the time. Bello and Burlein began to argue, it escalated into a physical confrontation, and Burlein allegedly shot him.

At that point, it says Burlein called his father, who explained to him how to make the murder look like a suicide. Burlein then called 911 and told them Bello had “collapsed.”

The lawsuit states that there is audio and video proof on security cameras.

Bello’s mother said she wants “the truth to come out,” and hopes it leads to “justice.”

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