Canadian Couple Found Murdered in Florida

OTTAWA - Global Affairs Canada said it is in contact with officials in Florida after two Canadian citizens were found dead in their mobile home in Pompano Beach.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the loved ones of the Canadian citizens who were found dead in Florida. Canadian consular officials in Miami are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information," Global Affairs spokesperson Stefano Maron said in a statement.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said neighbours of Rita Forin and Marc Gagne discovered the couple’s bodies on Friday. The neighbours grew worried, police said, when they had not seen or heard from the pair for a few days. One neighbour knocked, entered through the unlocked door and found the couple dead inside.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office said it is treating the deaths as homicides and is offering an award of up to US$3,000 for tips that lead to an arrest.

Marc, 80, and Fortin, 78, were from Saint-Come-Liniere, Quebec, about 100 kilometres southeast of Quebec City.

Monique Fortin, Rita's sister, said she last spoke with her by phone on Tuesday and that "she was in a good mood". She said things were fine as far as she could tell.

Neighbours thought the couple may have gone to visit relatives nearby. But by Friday, they decided it was time to check on them. They found the screen door open and the main entrance unlocked. A friend of the couple decided to go in while her husband and next-door neighbour Robert Forest waited outside. "She yelled and came running out and said, 'I think there's somebody on the floor,'" Forest recounted.

Forest then went in and said he found Gagne on the floor, just partly out of his bedroom, and Fortin was down the hall. "There was lots of blood," he said, his voice shaking during a phone interview. "It's just so, so sad that it could happen to them."

Pompano Beach is a community of more than 110,000 located just north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a popular destination for Canadian retirees looking to escape the cold.
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