B.C. man stabbed to death in Mexican resort town
Published Wednesday, June 8, 2011 2:48PM PDT
A father-of-two originally from Penticton, B.C., has been stabbed to death in Mexico.
Leonard Schell was found dead inside his home in Puerto Vallarta on May 30. The 62-year-old moved to Mexico six years ago and married Mexican Elba Ruiz last year.
Ruiz told a local newspaper that she returned home from an hour of running errands with her sons and was led to her husband's dead body by a trail of blood leading to their bedroom.
The attorney general's office said Schell was stabbed a total of 25 times, including nine times in the back. A coroner's report indicates it was a stab wound to the neck that finally caused his death.
Investigators believe the crime was motivated by theft, because the home's safe was found open and a large sum of money was missing. Police say there was about $10,000 in Canadian cash and $2,000 in American dollars in the home.
Ruiz said passports and bank cards were also taken.
Mexican authorities are investigating the murder, and say they have a lead in the case.
An investigator who spoke to CTV News said a white SUV was seen circling the home slowly times during the morning Schell was killed.
Police officers told local media that the victim and the suspect were likely known to each other, because the door to the home was not forced open and the victim was found in only boxer shorts.
Schell ran a company called Aim it Right that installed television satellites.
In an online article about his business, Schell described the city he lived in as a "beautiful place to live."
"As a guest in this country, I get to enjoy all of its beauty and splendour, and still have all the amenities of 'home,"' he wrote.
Canadian officials issued a statement Wednesday confirming that a citizen had died in Mexico, but provided few details.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is aware of the death of a Canadian citizen in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Canadian consular officials in Puerto Vallarta are working closely with local authorities to gather additional information," a statement issued by spokesman Alain Cacchione said.
"Canadian consular officials in Puerto Vallarta are providing consular assistance to the family in Mexico."
The agency said it would not release any further information because of privacy concerns.
Earlier this year, another man from B.C.'s Okanagan was caught in the crossfire of Mexican violence.
Penticton resident Mike DiLorenzo was shot in the leg while he was on vacation in Mazatlan.
The 69-year-old was walking through a public market with his wife when he was struck by a stray bullet from an AK-47 on Jan. 18.
Recent drug violence in Mexico has prompted multiple travel advisories for Canadians and foreigners visiting the country.
While most tourist areas have not been affected by the extreme levels of violence in the northern border areas, high levels of drug-related crime remain a concern throughout the country.
Additionally, Ottawa warns that foreign residents and tourists have been injured in drug-related violence and Canadians "should be particularly aware of their surroundings" as a result.
An estimated 18,000 people have been killed in Mexico in just four years.
With files from The Canadian Press