The country is in shock this week at the announcement of the disappearance and death of Canadian Francesca Matus, 52, and American Drew Thomas De Voursey, 36, who had made Corozal their home. According to a post-mortem conducted on the bodies they were strangled to death. Their deaths are now being investigated as homicides.
And so the Corozal community, in which the couple became a part of, had rallied together to search for their friends whom now they morn their tragic death. Much international coverage has been given to this case and Belize once again is getting a bad reputation for being unsafe, especially for tourist.
But Francesca Matus had told her cousin Ivana Pucci that she loved Belize and felt safe. ““She did tell us it was lawless there, but she felt safe in her little community,” Pucci said. Although the international media is portraying a scary, unsafe and lawless country, Belize still remains a peaceful country faced with crime and difficulty like any other country.
Matus had been in Belize since December, enjoying life on her waterfront property. She used to spend winters here in Belize and return to the Toronto area for summer and fall to be with her mother and her two twin sons, aged 22, Pucci said.
American Drew Thomas De Voursey on the other hand met Matus, his girlfriend, about two or three months ago. About four years ago, he bought a piece of property in the county – with nothing on it – and went down in December with the idea of starting his own dive company, his mother said.
“Part of his plan was to go to Belize and teach people how to dive,” she says. He bought four acres of land there about four years ago, as an investment, and had been to Belize multiple times before moving in December.
Police reported that the two bodies were found in a cane field in Chan Chen village, Corozal. The clothes on the bodies matched the description of the clothes the couple wore when they were last seen by friends. Police also reported that Matus’ body was found underneath De Voursey’s and that their wrists were taped up.
The bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition so the post-mortem was conducted on-site. The police department says it is collaborating with the US Embassy and the Canadian Consulate as the investigation continues.
The couple had been reported missing since Wednesday, April 26, when close friend Joe Milholen could not locate them.