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Kidnapped Grandson of Former Military Leader Found Dead

April 21, 1990

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) _ The 3-year-old grandson of a former Panamanian military leader has been found dead nine days after being kidnapped for ransom, a police official said Friday.

Marcos Rodriguez Justines was the grandson of ex-Col. Marcos Justines, former military chief of staff in the Panamanian Defense Forces.

The boy’s body had begun to decompose when it was found Thursday afternoon, said Leslie Loaiza, director of the Judicial Police.

The official said he did not know the motive for the killing, nor would he say whether the $1 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers had been paid.

″We will find out,″ Loaiza said.

He would not provide details of the case except to say that the kidnappers had been in contact with the family.

The boy was kidnapped last week from his home in the Villa de las Fuentes neighborhood of Panama City, the capital.

Justines is in jail, as are many former military and government officials after the U.S. invasion in December in which dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega was overthown.

Noriega was replaced by civilian rival Guillermo Endara, who won presidential elections in May 1989. Gen. Noriega, former Defense Forces chief, had halted ballot-counting and voided results of that election when it became apparent that Endara was winning.

Noriega is in a Florida jail awaiting trial in the United States on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

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