A Canadian woman and her American companion have gone missing in Belize, according to friends.
Fifty-two-year-old Francesca Matus of Ontario, was last seen driving home from a local bar with Thomas Drew De Voursney, 36, on Tuesday evening, her friends say.
Nancy Rifenbark, a U.S. citizen living in Corozal, told CTVNews.ca that she had dinner and drinks with Matus and De Voursney at Scotty's Bar in Corozal, Belize, on Tuesday night.
Rifenbark said that, at approximately 11 p.m. local time, the couple left for home in Matus’ white Isuzu Rodeo SUV. At approximately 8:30 a.m. the next morning, Rifenbark said her friend Joe Milhoen went to give Matus a drive to the airport in Belize City, where she was to catch a flight to Canada.
Rifenbark said that, when Milhoen arrived at Matus’ Corozal home, the gate was locked and her SUV wasn’t there. She said De Voursney’s motorcycle was the only vehicle parked at the home. Milhoen also spotted one of Matus’ suitcases through the glass of the front door.
Rifenbark said Milhoen tried calling the couple’s cellphones, checked with friends to see if anyone had heard from them, and even visited the local police station and hospital. Rifenbark said another friend called the airline and was told that Matus had not checked in for her flight.
In an emailed statement, Global Affairs Canada confirmed to CTV News that they’re aware of reports that a Canadian citizen is missing in Belize, and consular officials were in contact with local authorities.
Rifenbark said a small plane and people on the ground searched the area on Thursday, and that another local search party was organized for Friday.
According to the local reports in Belize, Matus was last seen wearing white, denim short pants, a white long-sleeve blouse and brown wedges. She’s described as 5’1” tall, with shoulder brown hair and a slim build. De Voursney was last seen wearing a blue and white Toronto Maple Leafs shirt, camouflage pants and brown boots. He’s described as having a chain tattooed on his right arm and is 6’6” tall.