Police: Mob of criminals targeted American teacher in theft, murder

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An American teacher who had moved to the Dominican Republic was found dead after she was allegedly tied up, tortured and robbed in her home.

And now police say they have the suspects responsible for the gruesome crime.

Investigators announced that they had arrested Michael Marinez Rosario, Heuri Flores Hernandez, Junior Alexis Suarez, Juan Jose Andujar Mella, Oroniel Canario Montero, and Alexis Maquey on their alleged connection with the murder of American teacher Patricia Ann Anton. 

 

All six were taken into custody this past weekend. A seventh suspect is reportedly still on the run. Police say that he goes by the nickname, “The Venezuelan”.

Breitbart reported that four of the six suspects currently in custody have criminal records. 

According to the report from Dominican authorities, the men went to the vacation area planning to take advantage of the innocent.

“Police said all seven suspects traveled to Puerto Plata with the intention of committing crimes before they fled,” the report noted.

Patricia Ann Anton was bound, gagged and tortured inside her Cabarete apartment before her attackers strangled her to death, according to the Daily Mail. Her apartment was also looted in concurrence with the murder, and her 40-inch television, laptop and cell phone were stolen.

Police: Mob of criminals targeted American teacher in theft, murder
The 63-year-old American woman was found murdered inside her room.

 

Anton’s body was discovered inside her home on Tuesday of this past week. When authorities arrived on scene, they had seen that she was still tied up on her bed from the events that had played out in her apartment. The perpetrators had allegedly stuffed a rag into her mouth during what could only be imagined as a horrific scene. Investigators said there were no signs of forced entry, leading investigators to believe that whomever committed the atrocity was familiar with Anton.

After discovering the body, investigators went to work tracking down individuals associated with the victim. As a result, eight people were taken into custody in connection with the murder, including a Haitian maintenance worker who was employed at her apartment complex. One of the more intriguing aspects related to the murder was the fact that Anton had just moved into the complex merely two days before she was killed.

 

According to a statement released by Dominican Tourism Police spokesperson Ramon Brito, “I certify that the investigation is on track and that the tourism police and the national police investigation unit are putting all efforts to clear up what happened.”

Federal police are also actively involved in the investigation as well, vesting effort into any leads that can be obtained regarding the tragic loss of Anton. Federal officials said that they had received tips about the case from a neighbor, and that they have also been reviewing security camera footage from the area.

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Police: Mob of criminals targeted American teacher in theft, murder

 

Anton was a U.S. citizen who had been working and living on the Caribbean island since 2014. She acted as a curriculum program director at the 3 Mariposas Montessori elementary school, which is a school focused on helping impoverished young girls to develop skills to better equip them to evade all matter of exploitation that parts of the area are notorious for.

According to the school website, “[Anton] brings her love for children and dedication to making positive changes through education to our school.”

 

She was remembered fondly by friends and co-workers.

“Patty was not only a colleague of mine, but she was also my mentor and one of my best friends,” said Sarah Ludwig-Ross. “She was one of the most caring people I have ever met, always putting everyone else first. She shared our belief that peace in the world can only come from getting close to and understanding people who are different from ourselves. … Patty loved each and every one of our children just as if they were her own.”

Anton’s cousin, Adrianne Machina, said that the longtime teacher loved the work she was doing in the Dominican Republic. Machina reflected about the crime that took place.

“I can’t imagine what kind of monster could do something like that to such a kind soul. She just loved building up the teachers there, building up the students and really making a difference in the Cabarete area. I think if there’s a lesson, she looked and said ‘how can I help’; she really believed education was the path out of poverty.”

Anton lived a live that was admirable, having a long history of efforts of volunteerism. She had previously served as a legislative aide at the Michigan Capitol, and went on volunteer efforts to Matagorda and Guatemala City.

We hope that the efforts being led by Dominican authorities bring justice for Anton, and we also pray for those suffering from the loss of this wonderful, and selfless woman. 

 


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