US Teacher Tortured and Strangled to Death in Dominican Republic

Police discovered her body on Tuesday, with her hands and feet bound together, and her mouth gagged with a rag.

An American teacher has been murdered in the Dominican Republic.

Patricia Ann Antón was tied up, tortured and strangled to death at her home in Puerto Plata, local media reported.

The 63-year-old, who had been living in the country for the past 15 years, worked as a teacher at the Mariposa private school.

Police discovered her body on Tuesday, with her hands and feet bound together, and her mouth gagged with a rag. There was evidence she had been tortured before her death.

Her drawers and wardrobe had been rifled through, while her cell phones, laptop, and flat screen TV were all missing.

Parents of Patricia's students expressed their shock and sadness on Facebook.

"Our family is heart-broken today," wrote Demeter Russafov Dharma. "Patty was one of those teachers whom our daughter would run to hug, and who would always treat the kids as her own. To find out that her life was senselessly cut short in such a cruel manner brings such pain and sadness."

"A role model to everyone. She brought so much light to the school with her smile and presence, where Dominican, Haitian and foreign kids played and learnt as equal."

Adrianne Machina added: "She was an amazing mother, teacher and friend - a role model to so many. She loved the DR - both the place and the people."

"She had a heart of gold and would help anyone - but was also a seasoned savvy traveler who could hold her own and was always aware of her surroundings. I cannot imagine how this happened or what kind of monster could be so merciless to take her life in such a cruel way. Senseless. Heart breaking."

DR, which relies heavily on tourism, is still reeling from the widespread reports of a wave of US tourist fatalities in the past year, in which at least ten died in "mysterious circumstances". A tainted batch of bootleg liquor has long been suspected as the cause, but an FBI investigation ruled this out in at least three of the deaths.

DR officials maintained the fatalities were coincidental; indeed statistically the number of deaths was not out of the norm.

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