The killing of a 63-year-old former Michigan school teacher in the Dominican Republic is being investigated by local authorities, who are looking at the case as a robbery-gone-wrong, according to multiple reports.
Patricia Ann Anton is the teacher from Michigan whose body was found by authorities on Nov. 12 at her Dominican Republic home, Fox News reported. According to the news outlet Anton’s hands and feet were tied up and she was strangled to death. Officials were looking to solve this case as quickly as possible, according to the news outlet.
Frank Felix Duran Mejia, the spokesperson for the Dominican National Police, said that the Michigan teacher’s death was due to suffocation, according to the medical examiners, Fox News reported. Local news reported that Anton was tortured prior to her death, but Mejia would not confirm that. In addition, her television, computer, along with various other items were also missing from her home. Local authorities will be working with Anton’s family to figure out what else might have been taken.
“Per the preliminary investigation, we are working on the theory that this was a robbery. Investigators continue to look for evidence that would lead us to solve this case as quickly as possible,” Mejia said, according to the news outlet.
The New York Post reported that though it was being investigated as a possible robbery, there wasn’t any indication that her home was broken into, and it’s possible that Anton was killed by someone she knew. Authorities continue their investigation, but so far, no suspects have been identified yet.
The news outlet reported that Anton was a curriculum director for Mariposas Montessori elementary school, located in Cabarete, one of the poorest communities in the Dominican Republic. The New York Post reported that she had been working as the curriculum director for six years, and prior to that, she had been working as an elementary school teacher in Michigan.
Demeter Russafov Dharma, whose daughter Anton taught, wrote on Facebook that Aton was “one of those teachers whom our daughter would run to hug, and who would always treat the kids as her own.”
Dharma also wrote that “To find out that her life was senselessly cut short in such a cruel manner brings such pain and sadness.”
According to Anton’s cousin, Adrianne Machina, she said that Aton loved the Dominican Republic, and cared for the people there, the New York Post reported.
“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. Senseless. Heartbreaking.”