Florida Highway Patrolman Killed in Haiti
- Monday, June 11, 2012 9:14 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was shot and killed on Saturday while in Haiti where he had gone to be with his wife who was in poor health.
Information coming from the FHP say that Jean Barthelus was flagged down by two men on Friday. When he pulled over in the neighborhood of Turgeau, he was shot and hit with a bullet. He died in his car and was discovered at 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Barthelus, 47, served as a highway trooper for eight years in North Miami. His wife, Michelle, says he worked road patrol on the Florida turnpike. That night he was going out to run some errands she said.
"We are in shock," said Dorothy Borgelin, 44, a cousin who described Barthelus as her best friend. "We don't know if it was an assassination or a robbery. But he was always there to help people."
Haitian authorities have not said anything about Barthelus' murder. FHP Trooper Jose Sanchez said FHP officials were working with U.S. and Haitian officials but information about Barthelus' death has been coming from family friends there.
Sanchez, who worked with Barthelus, described him as "dedicated to his profession and a pleasure to work with." He had received many commendations, said Sanchez.
"They say the Good Lord picks the most beautiful flower for his garden," said Sanchez. "He was a beautiful flower."
Borgelin said Barthelus was a graduate of Florida State University and also held a master's degree in engineering from Florida International University.
She described him as a very prudent man, who did not drink alcohol even when he was off duty, just in case he was called in to work.
In his addition to his wife, Barthelus is survived by a daughter, his mother Emily, of North Miami, three brothers and three sisters.
Borgelin said Michelle Barthelus is making arrangements to return to South Florida with her husband's body this week. Services are pending.