ATLANTA - News outlets in Belize reported a man is in custody and being questioned in connection to threats made against a former Atlanta marine and his Canadian girlfriend before their deaths.
Drew DeVoursney, 36, of Atlanta, was visiting his girlfriend, Francesca Matus, 52, at her seasonal home near Corozal. DeVoursney was scheduled to return to the United States on Friday to begin classes at a trade school, but the pair went missing April 25 after a night out at a bar.
Last week, the SUV belonging to Matus was found in a sugar cane field by a farmer. The couple’s belongings appeared packed and ready for their departure from Belize.
The partially decomposed bodies of DeVoursney and Matus were found Monday evening in a sugar cane field just outside of Corozal. CBC News reported the couple died of apparent strangulation. Each body was bound with tape.
Police there said Matus had been receiving threats, but she did not report them to authorities.
“No. Just open threats. I believe if a report of such of reported of that threat to Miss Francesca, maybe she would still be alive today. And I believe that members of the community, their community, knows exactly what was happening,” Sr. Supt. Dennis Arnold, Officer Commanding in Corozal told 7newsbelize.com.
Police said the man is a suspect in the murders, but have not formally charged him with anything. His name has not yet been released. Details surrounding the crime have not yet been released and police said they will not indulge publically in speculation on the murders.
Matus, an Ontario mother of two, was said to spend her winters in Corozal, where she owns beach property and worked as a realtor. She is said to be well known in the “expat” community there.
Char DeVoursney, Drew’s mother, said not hearing from her son for that long was unusual. She said even as a combat marine in Iraq, her son stayed in touch with his family. Family friend Brandon Barfield had even set up a GoFundMe to raise enough money to go down and investigate their disappearance in person. That would not happen.
"Someone had killed a United States Marine, my brother in arms, who survived Fallujah, Iraq and Afghanistan," said Barfield.
A motive in their couple’s murders has not yet been released.