NEWS

Francesca Matus, Drew Devoursney Deaths: Belize Police Questioning Canadian Citizen

05/04/2017 07:35 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 07:35 EDT

The Canadian government says a citizen is in police custody in Belize in connection with the deaths of a Toronto woman and her American boyfriend.

A spokesman with Global Affairs Canada said Thursday afternoon that consular officials are assisting the family of the detained Canadian and are in contact with local authorities.

Police in Belize have said 52-year-old Francesca Matus and her American boyfriend, Drew DeVoursney, died of strangulation.

Their bodies were found on Monday in a sugar cane field in the country's Corozal district.

francesca matus Francesca Matus grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and moved to Toronto after college and became a mortgage broker, which she still did for half of the year. (Photo: Facebook)

They were last seen leaving a bar around 11 p.m. six days earlier.

DeVoursney's mother said earlier on Thursday that the U.S. embassy in Belize told her two people were questioned in the case and have since been released.

Char DeVoursney also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping with the homicide investigation.

Dozens of Canadian and American expats were involved in a search for the pair, scouring the area for any hint of their whereabouts.

Matus was supposed to return home

Matus was scheduled to fly to Toronto the day after she disappeared. When a friend arrived at her home to drive her to the airport, her truck was missing, but her suitcases, passport and money remained inside.

Her truck was found several days later abandoned in a field far from where the bodies were discovered.

Police said the bodies were in an "advanced state of decomposition" with DeVoursney's body found on top of Matus's. Police also said tape was found around their wrists.

Mother waiting for son's remains

Char DeVoursney said she's disappointed by the lack of progress in the investigation, but is hopeful her son's remains will be returned home soon.

"We're hoping to bury him in a national cemetery here in Georgia," she said.

Ivana Pucci, Matus's cousin, said the Canadian government has made arrangements to bring her relative's remains home, but is not sure when that will occur.

In Belize, the bar where Matus and her boyfriend were last seen planned to hold a memorial celebration for the couple on Thursday.