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May 4, 2017

Canadian Detainee in Corozal Double Murder Questioned for Theft in Placencia

John Deshaies

Investigations into a double murder in Corozal continue tonight. The only suspect in the murder of a Canadian woman and her American boyfriend remains in police custody.  That suspect, John Deshaies, was transported from Corozal to the Placencia Police Substation where, this morning, he was questioned about a theft at a casino in March.  That out of the way, Deshaies was escorted back to the Corozal station, where he had been detained since Tuesday. News Five’s Duane Moody has been on his trail and files the following report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before eleven o’clock this morning, Canadian national fifty-four-year-old John Deshaies was escorted by several officers from inside the Crime Investigation Branch office of the Placencia Station into a waiting police mobile, with his hands cuffed to the front. Deshaies was transported overnight from the Corozal Police Station, first to Belmopan and then to that southern municipality for his alleged involvement in a case of theft at a casino earlier this year. Reports are that he had access to the establishment and was today interrogated in an effort to recover the stolen items.

But Deshaies wasn’t charged for any crime and was immediately taken back to Corozal where he has been detained since Tuesday for questioning in connection with the double murder of Canadian American couple, fifty-two-year-old Francesca Matus and thirty-six-year-old Drew Thomas DeVoursney. Following his detention, the Corozal Police Commander, Senior Superintendent Dennis Arnold was cautious not to indicate whether the nationality of the suspect.


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

“We have one person we believe can assist us in our investigation.”



“Is that person in custody?”


Dennis Arnold

Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold

“So far yes.”



“Is he a local?”


Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold

“I rather not day.”



“Often times these crimes may involve someone with some familiarity or intimacy because he’s an ex-marine, according to his physical description, six foot six if I’m not mistaken. It’s not someone lightly taken on. Are you able to say if the suspect may have had some familiarity that these people were not on their guard? Because taking down a six foot six marine and strangling him, it wouldn’t appear to be a quite easy thing, you’d need a very large or a significant number of people to do that.”


Francesca Matus & Drew Thomas DeVoursney

Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold

“At this point the investigation is still in its infancy stage and we are looking on that angle also. At this point we cannot say.”


Deshaies was a tenant of Matus; he lived in the lower flat of her two-storey house on the Serenity Sands Road in the quaint community for miles north of Corozal Town in Consejo Village. While the fifty-four-year-old had initially assisted in search efforts for the couple after they went missing on April twenty-eighth, Deshaies had not been seen or heard from since.


Jaime Olivarez, Handyman [File: May 3rd, 2017]

“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.”


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.”


Jaime Olivarez

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 then I doesn’t see him again.”


While investigations are ongoing involving Deshaies, it is not known what was the possible motive behind the murder of his Canadian landlady and her American boyfriend. What is known however is that they were both manually strangled to death, presumably by someone they knew after a night of socializing at Scotty’s Bar and Grill on First Avenue in Corozal Town. Matus and DeVoursney’s bodies were discovered six days later, atop each other in a cane field with their hands bound with duct tape.


Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold [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.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Canadian Detainee in Corozal Double Murder Questioned for Theft in Placencia”

  1. DocGuin Wallace says:

    The police are messing up the investigation, they are completely incompetent. They have the wrong man in custody. The Dennis Arnold is a buffoon he isn’t qualified to be a boy scout.

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