Suspect denies involvement in killing of former Marine and his girlfriend

The double murder of Canadian Francesca Matus and her American boyfriend Drew DeVoursney took an unexpected twist when a pal of the suspect in custody said he was best friends with Matus — and isn't the killer.

Matus and DeVoursney, a former Marine from Georgia, were found dead Monday in Belize. Authorities in the Central American country have named 54-year-old John Deshaies as the prime suspect.

But the friend of the suspected killer says police have the wrong man. The friend said Deshaies, the owner of a Canadian construction company, would never harm Matus.

"It's a terrible misunderstanding," the friend, who did not want to be identified, told the Toronto Sun. "Francesca was his best friend. He's a really good guy."

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The friend believes police targeted Deshaies because he left the country shortly after Matus and DeVoursney went missing.

Deshaies lived in the lower half of Matus' home in Belize. Matus, 52, was a Canadian real estate investor and split her time between Belize and Canada.

"Belize is a very corrupt country," the friend said. "I think they're actually keeping him in jail for his own safety. They want it to seem like it's a Canadian or American problem rather than a Belizean one."

DeVoursney, 36, and Matus, who had only been dating for a few months, were last seen alive at Scotty's Bar and Grill in Corozal. They were found dead in a field near the village of Chan Chen a week after they disappeared.

It was determined that Matus and DeVoursney had been strangled.

A second suspect was taken into custody Wednesday, but their identity has not been released.

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