Canadian man killed in Mexican resort town
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Wednesday, June 8, 2011 9:42PM EDT
A Canadian father of two was stabbed multiple times in his Mexican home last week and reportedly robbed of about $13,000.
Leonard Schell, originally from Penticton, B.C., was found dead in Puerto Vallarta by his wife on May 30.
The 62-year-old man was stabbed 25 times, including nine times in the back. His wife says the attacker took about $10,000 in Canadian cash, $2,000 in American dollars and 8,000 pesos.
"It's terrible, terrible. This doesn't happen to normal people. It's because they wanted to steal money," Schell's wife, Elba Ruiz, told The Canadian Press.
She discovered Schell's body when she returned home after meeting with a teacher from her children's school.
"I had gone out for an hour and 10 minutes with my boys, and found him ... Oh God, it's so sad, so terrible."
But when she got home, she discovered a trail of blood that she initially attributed to the family dog. But as she followed the blood to the home's second floor, she found her husband.
"They cut him from his lip to his throat. It's terrible, and just to rob money," Ruiz said, adding that bank cards and passports were also stolen from a safe in the home.
"He was an intelligent person, a hard worker, very strong. He liked to help people, and that's why people admired him. He didn't have a single enemy ..."
She added that the couple's church held a vigil for Schell, and it was packed with friends and community members.
Schell, who moved to Mexico six years ago, operated a satellite installation company called Aim it Right.
Schell had written about his business and his life in Mexico in a recent online article. He wrote at the time that Vallarta was a "beautiful place to live."
"As a guest in this country, I get to enjoy all of its beauty and splendour, and still have all the amenities of 'home,"' he wrote.
Schell lived in a community populated by many expats, his wife said.
Mexican authorities are investigating the murder, and say they have a lead in the case.
Police officers told local media that the victim and the suspect were likely known to each other, because the door to the home was not forced open and the victim was found in only boxer shorts. Police think that the killer or killers left the scene in a white van.
Foreign Affairs said it is probing the incident.
"I can tell you that the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is aware of the death of a Canadian citizen in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Canadian consular officials in Puerto Vallarta are working closely with local authorities to gather additional information," Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alain Cacchione told CTV.ca in an email.
"Canadian consular officials in Puerto Vallarta are providing consular assistance to the family in Mexico."