An American teacher who had been living and working in the Dominican Republic was found bound and murdered in her bed.
Patricia Anton, 63, was found dead in her apartment in Puerto Plata on Tuesday morning, according to the Dominican Today. She had been tied up at her hands and feet; the cause of death appears to be strangulation.
Her body was found on her bed. Local reports said there is evidence she was tortured but that has not been confirmed, according to Fox News.
While no suspects have been arrested or named, investigators have noted that she could have been killed during a burglary, according to CBS News. Her cellphone, laptop, television, and other items appear to have been taken from her home.
Anton had been living in the Dominican Republic for the last six years while working as a consultant at 3 Mariposas Montessori, an elementary school. The school is located in “one of Dominican Republic’s poorest communities” and the school's mission is to make “childhood education accessible to families who are ready for change,” according to the school’s website.
“She would light up a room upon entering it and be sure to make everyone smile and laugh with her wonderful sense of humor,” the school said in a statement following Anton’s murder. “Patty was a mentor, a friend, a leader, and a counselor to many.”
They added that Anton “shared our belief that peace in the world can only come from getting close to and understanding people who are different from ourselves. That is why she gave her heart and soul to our school - because we work with children and families from all over the world and from ALL socio-economic backgrounds. Patty loved each and every one of our children just as if they were her own.”
Anton had more than 20 years of teaching experience and previously taught elementary students in Michigan, WDIV-TV in Detroit reports.
“Our family is heartbroken by the loss of Patty,” a commenter who identifies as a relative of the slain teacher wrote on the Dominican Today article. “She was an amazing mother, teacher and friend - a role model to so many. She loved the DR - both the place and the people. She had a heart of gold and would help anyone - but was also a seasoned savvy traveler who could hold her own and was always aware of her surroundings. I cannot imagine how this happened or what kind of monster could be so merciless to take her life in such a cruel way.”
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