Dominican Republic authorities have named six people arrested over the murder of a US teacher who was tied up, gagged, tortured and strangled to death.
The body of Patricia Ann Anton, 63, was found on Tuesday inside her apartment in the town of Cabarete, on the north side of the island.
Michael Marinez Rosario, Heuri Flores Hernandez, Junior Alexis Suarez, Juan Jose Andujar Mella, Oroniel Canario Montero and Alexis Maquey were all arrested.
Four of the six men have prior criminal records that date back to 2017 and two of them are Haitian nationals.
Investigators are still on the hunt for the seventh suspect, nicknamed ‘El Venezolano’ or, ‘The Venezuelan’.
The arrests come three days after authorities said eight people had been taken into custody but it is unclear whether the six named men are included in that number.
Anton had moved into her new apartment on Saturday. Her car remained parked outside the building after her body was removed.
Investigators say she died as part of a burglary, because her phone, laptop and 40-inch plasma TV were missing and her clothing drawers and cupboards had been searched.
However, police said they had found no evidence of a break-in, meaning Anton likely knew her killers.
Her remains were found tied up on her bed with a rag stuffed into her mouth, investigators said.
A neighbor from her previous apartment, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Hoy, said Anton was recently in a heated argument with a German man over her school’s plans to purchase an empty lot for a new building.
Dominican newspaper Hoy reported Wednesday that the police detained eight people as part of its investigation into the murder of Patrica Ann Anton
Police say burglars took Anton’s laptop, phone, and plasma TV but it appears they knew her because there was no sign of forced entry at her apartme
The neighbor also recalled Anton as a friendly and respectful person who would often share her own money with the less fortunate in her community.
The body has been sent for forensic analysis and an investigation has been opened, the Prosecutor’s Office added.
Anton was an English teacher working at 3 Mariposas Montessori school, which sits just outside of Cabarete, a town in the northern Atlantic coast province of Puerto Plata.
Mike Tangen recalled his first encounter with Anton after the teacher found out that he was into music.
‘I met this shining Star briefly near the beach and when she learned that I did music I was immediately enlisted to meet her kid,’ Tangen wrote on the school’s Facebook page.
‘What a wonderful person. Such a loss to all of humanity! My heart aches for all of Cabarete.’
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