Toronto woman and American boyfriend missing in Belize, friends say

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A search was underway in Belize on Saturday for a Toronto woman who went missing with her American partner, according to friends.

Francesca Matus, 52, and her boyfriend, Drew De Voursney, 36, have not been seen since they left a bar in Corozal on Tuesday night.

Suspicion was first raised on Wednesday when a friend of Matus went to her house in Corozal to drive her to the airport for a flight back to Canada. The house was in order, with her bed made and passport left out, but Matus wasn’t there.

It was as if the couple had not returned home the night before Matus was scheduled to fly out, said Timothy Barfield, a close friend of De Voursney.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said it was aware of reports of a Canadian citizen missing in Belize, but would not confirm the person’s identity.

“Consular officials are providing consular assistance to the family and remain in regular contact with local authorities to gather additional information,” said the spokesperson in an email to the Star.

Matus and De Voursney were reportedly last seen leaving Scotty’s Bar and Grill on Tuesday night. Barfield said the bar is about 10 kilometres away from Matus’s house, and the terrain has dense forest.

Since the couple were reported missing, search parties with 70 to 80 people have gathered, Barfield said, and aerial searches have been performed.

Barfield said he was in regular contact with De Voursney and it is not unusual for the resident of West Palm Beach, Fla., to spend long periods of time in Belize.

The situation now is “very strange for everybody,” he said.