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May 3, 2017

1 Man Detained in Double Murder of Foreigners in Corozal

Francesca Matus & Drew Thomas DeVoursney

The murder by strangulation of fifty-two-year-old Francesca Matus and thirty-six-year-old Drew Thomas DeVoursney continues to baffle police up north. The Canadian woman and her American boyfriend went missing last week and six days later, their bodies were found in a cane field, on Monday.  The couple was to travel back to their respective countries last Wednesday, but were instead killed after an outing on Tuesday night at a popular bar. Expats acquainted with the couple tell us that Matus’ tenant, who lived on the lower flat of the Consejo house, has not been seen since Saturday. Police are yet to confirm if he is in custody, but sources say that he is being questioned.  News Five’s Duane Moody headed north today and visited the sprawling seafront property where the couple lived.

 

One man remains in police custody tonight as the investigation into the double murder of a Canadian – American couple in northern Belize continues.

 

Duane Moody (stand up)

“A few yards down this path in a cane field in the outskirts of the village of Chan Chen, Corozal the bodies of Canadian national Francesca Matus and American national Drew Thomas DeVoursney were discovered by a canero just before five p.m. on Monday. While their hands were bound with duct tape, they were manually strangled to death.”

 

Dennis Arnold

Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold, O.C., Corozal Police Formation [File: May 2nd, 2017]

“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.”

 

The U.S. Embassy and the Canadian Consulate have since been brought into the case. DeVoursney’s brother is also in Belize where preparations are underway to transport the bodies back to their respective countries. Francesca and Drew were well-known by the large expat community in the north.  They recently became involved and lived here at this two-storey house on Serenity Sands Road in the pristine and quiet village of Consejo, some four miles north of Corozal Town. While they occupied the upper flat, another expat, known only by the name of John, was the tenant in the ground floor. John has not been seen in recent days.

 

Jaime Olivarez, Handyman

“Every morning I went over there I saw Mister Drew and Miss Francesca over there and sometimes I see Mister John came over with a blue truck.”

 

Jaime Olivarez

Duane Moody

“Who is Mister John?”

 

Jaime Olivarez

“Well to me it look like he is living at the downstairs of the house because every morning sometimes he goes out and he doesn’t come back until the night or evening before I went home. To me, I see Mister John live over there, but I don’t know what’s his family or those stuff. But to me, I think so, he is renting over there.”

 

Duane Moody

“Have you seen Mister John since then?”

 

Jaime Olivarez

“Yap because he was helping the other white guys because he went to rent an airplane and he was flying all over here and seeing what’s going on but from them I doesn’t see him again.”

 

Matus was to travel to Canada last Wednesday, but the couple could not be found; her passport was inside the house, bags were packed and DeVoursney’s dirt bike was parked in the driveway.  Matus’ Isuzu rodeo, however, was not there – and would later be found abandoned in a cane field in the village of Paraiso.  The couple frequented Scotty’s Bar & Grill in Corozal Town and on Tuesday night were last seen alive leaving the establishment together. But they never returned home.

 

Joseph Milhloen

Joseph Milhloen, Friend of Deceased

“I was scheduled to pick up Francesca Matus at eight-thirty in the morning to transport her to the airport in Belize. And when I arrived, she was not at home; her vehicle was gone and that’s when we started the search to try to find her. They were last seen on Tuesday night at about ten-forty-five leaving Scotty’s Bar and Grill here in Corozal. They were in Francesca’s 1998 Isuzu Rodeo, white in color. Francesca was driving and Drew was a passenger and that was the last time they were seen.”

 

Subsequent searches were organized by Milhloen; other expats and Belizeans joined in to assist the police in locating the missing couple prior to the discovery of their badly decomposed bodies. While a motive has not been established, it is believed that there was more than one person involved in the gruesome murder and that the couple was unsuspecting of the threat because they knew the killer.

 

Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold [File: May third, 2017]

“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?”

 

Sr. 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?”

 

Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold

“The female…that’s all to it so far.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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