Report: Person of interest detained after U.S.-Canadian couple strangled in Belize

COROZAL, Belize -- A Canadian man is being detained as a person of interest in the killing of an ex-Marine from Atlanta and his Canadian girlfriend in Belize, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The bodies of 52-year-old Francesca Matus of Ontario and 36-year-old Drew DeVoursney of Georgia were reportedly found in a sugar cane field May 1. The couple had been staying together in Corozal near the country's northern border with Mexico. They were reported missing April 26, after they were last seen leaving a local bar together.

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Francesca Matus and Drew DeVoursney 

CBSN

Local media in Belize quoted officials as saying the cause of death for both Matus and DeVoursney was listed by the coroner as strangulation.

Their bodies were reportedly found in an advanced state of decomposition, with their hands bound.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports officials identified John Deshaies as the person of interest. Deshaies has reportedly been charged with stealing from a local casino in an unrelated case.  Matus was Deshaies' landlord in Corozal, according to the paper. Matus lived in Keswick, Ontario, and owned some properties in Toronto as well as a home in Belize, the paper reports.

Deshaies reportedly denied involvement in the deaths, telling local reporters, "Not at all; she is a very good friend of mine. Absolutely not."