Cana­dian ar­rested in Belize amid mur­der probe

Toronto wo­man and her Amer­i­can boyfriend were found stran­gled on Mon­day

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - LIAM CASEY

The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment says a ci­ti­zen is in po­lice cus­tody in Belize in con­nec­tion with the deaths of a Toronto wo­man and her Amer­i­can boyfriend.

A spokesper­son with Global Af­fairs Canada said Thurs­day af­ter­noon that con­sular of­fi­cials are as­sist­ing the fam­ily of the de­tained Cana­dian and are in con­tact with lo­cal author­i­ties.

Po­lice in Belize have said 52-year-old Francesca Ma­tus and her Amer­i­can boyfriend, Drew DeVoursney, died of stran­gu­la­tion.

Their bod­ies were found on Mon­day in a sugar cane field in the coun­try’s Corozal district. They were last seen leav­ing a bar around 11 p.m. six days ear­lier.

DeVoursney’s mother said ear­lier on Thurs­day that the U.S. Em­bassy in Belize told her two peo­ple were ques­tioned in the case and have since been re­leased.

Char DeVoursney also said the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion is help­ing with the homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Dozens of Cana­dian and Amer­i­can ex­pats were in­volved in a search for the pair, scour­ing the area for any hint of their where­abouts.

Ma­tus was sched­uled to fly to Toronto the day af­ter she dis­ap­peared. When a friend ar­rived at her home to drive her to the air­port, her truck was miss­ing, but her suit­cases, pass­port and money re­mained in­side.

Her truck was found sev­eral days later aban­doned in a field far from where the bod­ies were dis­cov­ered.

Po­lice said the bod­ies were in an “ad­vanced state of de­com­po­si­tion” with DeVoursney’s body found on top of Ma­tus’s.

Po­lice also said tape was found around their wrists.

Char DeVoursney said she’s dis­ap­pointed by the lack of progress in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but is hope­ful her son’s re­mains will be re­turned home soon.

“We’re hop­ing to bury him in a na­tional cemetery here in Ge­or­gia,” she said.

Ivana Pucci, Ma­tus’s cousin, said the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment has made ar­range­ments to bring her rel­a­tive’s re­mains home, but is not sure when that will oc­cur.

In Belize, the bar where Ma­tus and her boyfriend were last seen planned to hold a memo­rial cel­e­bra­tion for the cou­ple on Thurs­day.

JOE MILHOLEN, TORONTO STAR

Francesca Ma­tus, 52, of Toronto and her Amer­i­can boyfriend Drew De Voursney, 36, were found dead on Mon­day.

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