Canadian in custody in Belize as police investigate Toronto woman’s death

Canadian detained in death of woman in Belize

HASH(0xbb2d74)

Police in Belize says a Canadian man remains in custody as a “person on interest” in connection with the deaths of a Toronto woman and her American boyfriend this week.

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

Their bodies were found Monday in a sugar cane field in Belize’s Corozal district — six days after they were last seen leaving a bar around 11 p.m.

A Belize police sergeant told The Canadian Press late Thursday night that the man was still in custody and “still very much a person of interest.”

The sergeant, who did not want his name used, added that the man was no longer in Corozal, but in the Caribbean coast town of Placencia where he has been taken to face a burglary charge.

“More than likely he should be going to court tomorrow (Friday) for the burglary, so he’s not released … he’s a person of interest for the murders,” he said.

The sergeant said there are “other people” police are looking at in connection with the murders, but there is no one else in custody.

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

DeVoursney’s mother said earlier on Thursday that the U.S. embassy in Belize told her two people who had been questioned in the case 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.

 

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Esquimalt senior’s complex getting redeveloped

The Esquimalt Lions Lodge is one of the projects to receive funding for affordable housing

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Active investigation into reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt

An Oct. 5 allegation is being investigated by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Federal environment minister faces protesters in B.C.

Catherine McKenna defended her government’s environmental record during a funding announcement in Victoria

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read