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May 2, 2017

Canadian-American Couple’s Gruesome Murder in Corozal

Francesca Matus & Drew Thomas De Voursey

A Canadian woman and her U.S. boyfriend were strangled to death in the Corozal District. The couple was reported missing since last Wednesday, her SUV was first found on Sunday and then on Monday, their bodies were found off the road in the area of Chan Chen. The double murder is still under investigation and Corozal police had few details to offer.  What we know so far is that Francesca Matus and Drew Thomas DeVoursney died a horrific death.  Matus, who lived in Belize for the past four years, was a real estate agent. DeVoursney on the other hand, is a retired marine, who recently moved to Belize in December 2016.  It is confirmed that they were strangled and when their decomposed bodies were found by a cane farmer; DeVoursney body lay atop of Matus’ and their hands bound by tape. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The badly decomposed bodies of fifty-two-year-old Canadian national Francesca Matus and thirty-six-year-old American national Drew Thomas DeVoursney were found in a cane field off the Patchakan/Chan Chen Road in Corozal, six days after they were reported missing by a friend. It is not known when the couple was killed, but they were last seen alive on Tuesday night here, at Scotty’s Bar and Grill on First Avenue in Corozal Town. They left the establishment around eleven p.m. in Matus’ white Isuzu Rodeo SUV.

 

Voice of: Colin McGowan, Owner, Scotty’s Bar & Grill

“We became concerned the very next day. I saw them last in the bar on a Tuesday night. The Wednesday morning they were to be collected to go to the airport, and that’s when we became concerned because they were not there. And then on the Thursday once we confirmed that she hadn’t arrived in Canada, that’s when we started the search proper.”

 

A missing report was immediately made to the local authorities after neither Matus, nor DeVoursney, could have been located. Their houses were untouched and their travel documents were intact inside. A mass search by members of the expat community and Belizeans ensued to assist the police department.

 

Voice of: Colin McGowan

“I know they have limited resources and as a community we wanted to search. And it wasn’t just only the expats; it was locals alike, very concerned for both persons. So we decided to make it a proper search, so we made sure that we searched every area we could.”

 

Duane Moody

“Starting from their homes?”

 

Voice of: Colin McGowan

“…starting from here where they were last seen.”

 

The search for the missing couple spread to social media in efforts to locate them and by Sunday, the vehicle, with its battery missing, was found inside a cane field in Paraiso Village – two villages from where the couple lived in the Serenity Sands community of Consejo Village. The search, however, pressed on and on Monday afternoon, the worst fear of the search team was realized.  Caneros (cane farmers) working in the Chan Chen Village would make the gruesome find within a cane field about a mile down a feeder road just before five p.m.

 

Dennis Arnold

Supt. Dennis Arnold, O.C., Corozal Police Formation

“It’s about a mile and a half on the main road and a mile in a feeder road in a cane field, yes we had saw the two bodies—the male is partially on top of the female. Scenes of Crime were called in, scene was processed; the body was in an advance state of decomposition where the doctors were called in and the autopsy was done on site. Upon conclusion of the autopsy, the doctors conclude that the case of death was massive strangulation.”

 

A post mortem conducted on site on the corpses would confirm that Matus and DeVoursney were bound at the wrists with duct tape before they were both manually strangled to death. It is not known if the couple was killed on the scene or their body simply dumped in the area. But who would commit such a heinous crime on them and why?

 

Supt. Dennis Arnold

“At this point in time we could not ascertain, but what I could say is that the female had on her jewellery. But to say that theft was a motive, we cannot say at this time.”

 

Reporter

“Okay, but were there still personal effects in the vehicle?”

 

Supt. Dennis Arnold

“The vehicle was clean and the battery was gone also.  We are looking at some threats that was made; that’s all to it so far.”

 

Reporter

“Which one of them sir?”

 

Supt. Dennis Arnold

“The female…that’s all to it so far.”

 

Police confirmed that one person has been detained, but it is believed that the crime was committed by more than one person.  Investigations are also ongoing reference reports of death threats made to Matus.

 

As it currently stands, over three hundred expats have made Corozal their home. Louis Klutzaritz has been travelling to Corozal from the U.S. for the past twelve years…and resides in the north.  Although few and far apart, he says that crimes against North American nationals are frightening and keep potential investors away.

 

Louis Klutzaritz

Louis Klutzaritz, Expat

“I think most people’s concern is that they are beginning to feel unsafe.  Whenever anything like this happens, for a short time, people feel unsafe. I think that they just have to be more aware of their surroundings, especially at night when you are out walking about. I think you need to be more concerned with the people around you.  I think there are some expats who are leaving the country…and I have some Canadian friends who are on Facebook and have constantly sent me emails saying that it is on the news in Toronto, it is on the news in Atlanta and it just hit ABC news this morning in the United States.  And that’s all bad publicity, although that’s not the whole country, but a lot of tourists are gonna be saying, I don’t think I want to visit there right now.”

 

Duane Moody reporting for News Five.

 

Both the U.S. Embassy and the Canadian Consulate in Belize have been brought in as investigations continue. 

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6 Responses for “Canadian-American Couple’s Gruesome Murder in Corozal”

  1. Eye in the Sky says:

    Jewelry was not stolen.
    This sounds like a drug deal gone bad. or
    Contract killing.

    Never will be solved by Belize police like the many other murders of expats.

  2. Jumbo Pizza says:

    They should investigate the owners of the bar and the family.
    Nancy is a shady character.
    Probably wants to take over Franchescas property.
    Have the RCMP investigate N.

  3. Raggamuffin says:

    Investigate the bar owners.
    They bought a hotel from an expat in Corozal and shortly after they did the expat was also dead.
    He was never paid and they now run the hotel.

    They are snakes.

  4. Lee says:

    Belize had better do something about all these murders and fast! The top priority in Belize should be the safety of the residents and the tourists. Unless Belize wants to be labeled like Jamaica which is already happening, you all better find those criminals and bring them to justice. Bring back capital punishment and have it take place in a public forum. Every time someone commit murder, rape or any violent crime, take them to the public square and hang their ass! I bet that will curb some of these crimes. Belize used to be our paradise and now it’s a hell hole. No one is safe! It makes you not even want to recommend Belize to anyone, or even go home to visit or reside permanently. I know everywhere has its troubles but our country is way too small to be having these type of issues. Too many damn murders every single day! What happened to our jewel our beautiful peaceful country? YOU ALL DO SOMETHING, AND DO IT FAST!

  5. firewalker says:

    Another black eye for Belize. I feel sorry for the other people from other countries who live and visit there. very sad

  6. spike says:

    Tourists & real estate investors, come to the beautiful country of Belize. Land fraud and murder await you!

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