Published On: Wed, May 3rd, 2017

Canadian-American couple missing in Belize were strangled: police

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A Canadian woman and her American boyfriend who had been missing for days in Belize died of strangulation, local police said Tuesday May 2 as the pair’s friends and families were struggling to come to grips with their loss.

The Canadian Press reported the bodies of Francesca Matus, 52, of Toronto, and Drew DeVoursney, 36, from Georgia, were found Monday afternoon in a sugar cane field in the country’s Corozal district.

Police said in a statement that DeVoursney’s body was found on top of Matus’s body, and both were in an “advanced state of decomposition.”

Authorities said the deaths were being investigated as homicides.

The pair had been missing since last Tuesday when they were last seen leaving a local bar around 11 p.m. Dozens of Canadian and American expats were involved in the search, scouring the beaches, waterways and the bush.

On Sunday afternoon, Matus’s car was found in a sugar cane field about 15 kilometres from the bar.

Francesca Matus and Drew De Voursney had been dating for a few months before they were last seen last Tuesday night leaving a bar.

Belize police Det. Zamir Noh said the bodies were discovered late Monday afternoon in another field “nowhere close to the truck.” Police said autopsies conducted on Tuesday revealed how the pair died.

Friends and family said Matus and DeVoursney had been dating for several months.

Matus was scheduled to return to Canada last Wednesday, but when her friend, Joe Milholen, arrived at her house to take her to the airport, her car was gone and the house locked up. Milholen said he later found her packed suitcases, passport and travelling money inside the house.

Matus had been in Belize since December, said her cousin Ivana Pucci, enjoying life on her waterfront property. She used to spend winters in the central American country and return to the Toronto area for summer and fall to be with her mother and her two twin sons, aged 22, Pucci said.

“She loved it there and felt safe,” Pucci said.

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Source: thestar.com

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