The investigation into the unsolved double slayings of an American man and his Canadian girlfriend in Belize earlier this year now includes a person of interest somewhere in the United States, as the FBI continues to probe the mysterious killings, the slain man’s mother tells PEOPLE.
Char DeVoursney, whose son Drew DeVoursney was found strangled in early May in northern Belize, says a federal agent continues to investigate what happened, traveling regularly between America and the Central American country.
“A lot of them [FBI agents] were over there in the very beginning and then the one FBI agent we heard got assigned to the case. … He comes and goes back and forth to Belize to check what’s going on and he had been over there recently, and I think this is how this news came about now,” Char says.
Within the last few weeks, she says, she learned authorities “had a person of interest that was in the U.S.”
She says her family has had basically no contact with either local investigators or with the FBI, but they receive updates through the State Department.
Char’s son Drew, a 36-year-old Marine Corps veteran and his girlfriend, Francesca Matus, lived in Belize’s Corozal District, near the southeastern tip of Mexico. There’s also where both of them were found dead in May about a week after they disappeared.
Police said they were strangled but they have declined to release many other details. Char previously told PEOPLE the couple’s hands had been duct-taped and their bodies left in a somewhat remote area, with their vehicle found in good condition about 10 miles away.
The couple was last seen late on April 25 in the district capital, Corozal Town, leaving a going-away gathering for Matus. A 52-year-old mother of two, she was set fly back to her native Canada the next day.
Their bodies were reportedly found on May 1 in a field in the nearby Chan Chen village.
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‘One Person Couldn’t Have Done the Actual Murders,’ Says Mom
Much remains unclear about the scope of the investigation into the deaths, including the identity of the person of interest or the person’s suspected connection to the killings.
Belize police previously declined to comment to PEOPLE and could not be reached again this week, despite repeated calls and messages. A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment on the case or possible FBI involvement, citing longstanding bureau policy to not confirm or deny existing investigations.
Global Affairs Canada, the nation’s diplomatic analog to the State Department, declined to comment beyond a brief statement, citing privacy laws. “Global Affairs Canada is aware of the case,” a spokesperson said, in part. “Consular officials are assisting the family of the Canadian victim.”
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A State Department spokesman said, “We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. The U.S. Embassy in Belmopan has provided consular assistance to Mr. DeVoursney’s family.” The spokesman declined further comment.
“This FBI agent had been over there recently and doing some investigating,” Char tells PEOPLE, adding, “It sounds like they’re just not going to let it go cold.”
“I feel sure that if it’s this one person, that one person couldn’t have done the actual murders,” she says. “One person could be assigning it or asking for it to be done. … But if there’s one person that they’re looking at right now, it’s whoever put the hit on or however you want to say it, that’s my conclusion with this information.”
Families of Victims Push for Answers
Meanwhile, the mystery of what happened to Drew and Matus lingers. Char says her son’s ashes were buried at the Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee, and his friends there visit his gravesite often.
“I think about him every day,” she says, as does her younger son, Drew’s younger brother, David DeVoursney.
David and Drew’s best friend, Brandon Barfield, traveled to Belize immediately after the killings in their search for answers. In an update online in June, following Drew’s funeral, Barfield wrote that “we are still pursuing justice.”
“We are doing all that we can so that Drew and Francesca’s deaths won’t be forgotten,” he wrote. “We won’t be quiet.”
Matus’ family, too, is grappling with the lack of resolution.
Friends had remembered her as “full of life, love and passion.” They said she moved to Belize about four years before she was killed and split her time between Belize, in the winter months, and Canada when it was warm.
She is survived by adult twin sons, her family said. Cousin Ivana Pucci tells PEOPLE, “We are no closer to answers today then we were six months ago or so.”