An American teacher has been found bound, gagged, tortured and strangled to death in the Dominican Republic.
The remains of Patricia Ann Anton, 63, were found inside her apartment in the town of Cabarete, on the north side of the island, on Tuesday.
Investigators say it appears 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.
Patricia Ann Anton, 63, a US citizen who had been living and working in the Dominican Republic for 15 years, has been found strangled to death
Anton (left, at the school where she worked) was found bound, gagged, tortured and strangled to death inside her apartment in Cabarete on Tuesday in what police believe was a robbery
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.
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, around 95 miles north of capital Santo Domingo.
Anton (left) was an American citizen born in Italy who spent her childhood travelling before settling in Michigan, where she had a family
Anton worked for a time as a legislative assistant before swapping careers to become a teacher, then volunteered in Guatemala before ending up in the Dominican Republic
Thomas Anton paid tribute to his sister-in-law, writing: ‘Patty Anton was one of the most caring people you could ever meet. She dedicated her life to helping children. Her death is a tragedy. I have resolved to use her memory as an inspiration to be of greater service to those around me. She was kind to everyone, always, without exception’
The school is part of an initiative to take improvised girls away from a life on the streets and give them skills to stop them being exploited.
Anton was born in Italy and spent time travelling with her family as a girl and young woman before settling in Michigan where she raised a family, according to the school’s website.
She has at least adult two children, who now live in Michigan and Illinois.
Thomas Anton paid tribute to his sister-in-law, writing: ‘Patty Anton was one of the most caring people you could ever meet. She dedicated her life to helping children. Her death is a tragedy.
‘I have resolved to use her memory as an inspiration to be of greater service to those around me. She was kind to everyone, always, without exception.’
She gained a degree from Central Michigan University before qualifying as a teacher for age groups 6-12 at the American Montessori Society.
The school promotes a teaching method that is led by the children and run at their own pace, with teachers acting as guides and assessors, according to its website.
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 apartment
Her body was found in her apartment Tuesday in the town of Cabarete, in the north of the Dominican Republic, on Tuesday. A murder investigation has been launched
It is based on the teaching methods used by an Italian teacher, Maria Montessori.
While in the states, Anton also served as a legislative aide at the Michigan State Capital, before leaving for Guatemala where she worked as a volunteer.
Her volunteer work eventually brought her to the Dominican Republic, where she became a teacher. She had been living in the country for 15 years.
Investigators are working to identify suspects and no arrests have been reported.
According to the research from the Observatory of Citizen Security, in the first three months of 2019, 240 homicides were registered in the Dominican Republic.