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8 People Arrested After Gruesome Murder of American Teacher in Dominican Republic: Report

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Eight people have been arrested in connection with the death of an American teacher in the Dominican Republic.

Patricia Ann Anton, 63, was found on her bed Tuesday in her home with her hands and feet tied, Dominican National Police spokesman Frank Felix Duran Mejia told Fox News.

The eight suspects included the janitor at the apartment complex where Anton lived, according to Fox News, which cited a report from the Spanish-language “Hoy” newspaper.

The arrests came after police viewed surveillance footage from one of Anton’s neighbors.

“Per the preliminary investigation, we are working on the theory that this was a robbery,” Mejia said.

Police found no signs of forced entry, Meija said.

Earlier in the week, he indicated police were doing everything they could to find those responsible, saying, “Investigators continue to look for evidence that would lead us to solve this case as quickly as possible.”

A TV, computer, cell phone and other items were missing from Anton’s home, police said.

Anton died due to suffocation caused by strangulation, Mejia said.

Is it too dangerous now to visit the Dominican Republic?

The New York Post reported that Anton was found with a gag in her mouth. Local media reported that there were indications Anton was tortured before her death, the Post reported.

Anton worked at the Mariposas Montessori elementary school in the small Dominican Republic town of Cabarete, according to Fox.

In her memory a “peace park” will be erected at the school, Adrianne Machina, Anton’s cousin, said, according to ABC.

“Her life was so much bigger than her death,” Machina said.

“The Dominican Republic was her happy place. I think her dream was to retire down there,” Machina said. “The Dominican Republic really gave her purpose and peace.”

Anton previously worked at a private school in Traverse City, Mich.

This is a troubled time in the Dominican Republic, with headlines taking note of the drug arrests of former Major League Baseball stars, the shooting of legendary Boston Red Sox pitcher David Ortiz and highly highly-publicized crimes as well as the reported deaths of numerous U.S. citizens.

At least 11 Americans have died in the Dominican Republic this year, CBS reported.

The deaths in the Caribbean getaway have made travelers nervous, one commentator said.

“The perception of safety has already been attacked,” said Lauren Duffy, a professor at Clemson University, according to The New York Times. “You can see how vulnerable tourism-dependent countries are to a crisis like this, and I’m calling it a crisis because they’re starting to roll out the media campaign and the crisis response.”

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