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Bodies of missing Canadian, American found in Belize: friends


CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, May 1, 2017 8:55AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 1, 2017 9:43PM EDT

The bodies of a missing Canadian woman and her American companion have been found in Belize, according to friends and a local media report.

Francesca Matus, 52, and Drew De Voursney, 36, had been missing since last week.

Breaking Belize News reported late Monday that their bodies had been found by a search party in a cane field in Chan Chen Village in the country’s northern Corozal District.

Nancy Rifenbark, a friend of Matus and De Voursney who had been helping in the search, confirmed the report to CTV News, along with another friend. However, police have not yet given their own confirmation.

Earlier Monday, police said they had located a vehicle belonging to Matus. Her white Isuzu Rodeo SUV was discovered in a cane field near the village of Paraiso, also in Corozal, on Sunday afternoon, Const. WPC Chan of the Corozal Police Department confirmed to CTVNews.ca.

Matus and De Voursney were last seen leaving a local bar at around 11 p.m. Tuesday night. Matus’ friend, Joe Milhoen, went to pick her up at her home in Corozal on Wednesday morning to drive her to the airport, but she and De Voursney were nowhere to be found.

Matus’ vehicle was not in the driveway and her suitcase and passport were still inside the home, according to Milhoen.

Const. Chan said police didn’t find anybody inside the vehicle and that she wasn’t aware of any other evidence discovered at the scene. She said the SUV is now in the possession of the Corozal Police Department for further investigation.

Matus vehicle 2

Const. Chan said police didn’t find anybody inside the vehicle and that she wasn’t aware of any other evidence discovered at the scene. (Breaking Belize News)

Nancy Rifenbark, a friend of Matus and De Voursney who was with them at the bar on the last night they were seen, told CTVNews.ca on Monday that another search party was being organized by local volunteers to search the area where the vehicle was found.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed that they’re aware of reports of a Canadian citizen missing in Belize, and that consular officials were in contact with local authorities.

The U.S. State Department also said they’re aware of reports of an American citizen missing in Belize.

“The welfare of U.S. citizens is one of the Department’s highest priorities. We stand ready to provide all possible consular assistance. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment at this time,” they said in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca on Monday.

Matus vehicle 1

Francesca Matus’ white Isuzu Rodeo SUV was discovered in a cane field near the village of Paraiso, located in the northern part of Corozal, Belize on Sunday afternoon. (Breaking Belize News)

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