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Nov 15, 2019 11:20 AM EST

American Teacher from Michigan Found Murdered in her Home in the Dominican Republic

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Patty Anton
(Photo : 3 Mariposas Montessori via Facebook)
Patty Anton is the Curriculum Director at the Mariposas Montessori primary school in Cabarete, Dominican Republic

According to local media reports, a former Michigan primary school teacher was found tied, gagged and strangled to death in her Dominican Republic apartment on Tuesday.

The Dominican National Police spokesman Frank Felix Duran said that Patricia "Patty" Ann Anton, 63, was found dead in her bed inside her home in Puerto Plata province. He added signs show she had been tortured. She was working as a teacher on the island.

Dominican officials said that Anton was probably killed during a robbery. Her cell phone, laptop and television were missing and her cupboards were ransacked.

"I can't imagine what kind of monster could do something like that to such a kind soul," Adrianne Machina, cousin of Anton, told reporters.

Anton's death prompted the Dominican Republic to investigate further. A string of violent incidents involving Americans earlier this year revive security concerns. After a day of sightseeing, a Georgian man was killed in July and became the 14th American to die there since June 2018. The causes of the killings are still not known.

Police did not find any signs of forced entry, indicating that someone who knew her might have committed the crime, said Dominican National Police Speaker Frank Felix Duran. There were no suspects identified. As of Wednesday, no arrests were made. The inquiry is yet ongoing.

Anton worked at the Mariposas Montessori primary school in Cabarete, a small town on the northern shore of the island, for nearly six years. Before becoming this year's curriculum director, she served as a teacher there.

Anton, who was born in Italy, had been teaching for more than a decade at a private primary school in Traverse City. Anton graduated from Central Michigan University, according to the website of Mariposa Montessori. She has also served as a legislative assistant at Michigan State Capitol. She joined a group of volunteers in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic before living to work on the island.

Members of the family announced the death of Anton on Facebook. Anton was said to be a seasoned traveler, a loving mother and good wife. The New York Post confirmed that her family and relatives are expected to travel to the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Her body was taken for an autopsy to the town of Santiago de los Caballeros.

The safety of the island came under scrutiny earlier this year after a hotel staff member at the all-inclusive luxury resort Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana had allegedly attacked Tammy Lawrence-Daley of Delaware, who was the hotel's guest.

Her claims were amplified in the weeks that followed after the deaths of 11 American tourists at different hotels across the country. Some suspected that they were poisoned. Autopsies revealed that the visitors died of natural causes, but with the aid of the FBI, two of the cases received additional toxicology testing.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of State ignored the idea that there was an increase in tourist deaths. The government said there was no alarming increase in the number of U.S. citizens who died in the Dominican Republic.

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