Quebec couples deaths in Florida being treated as double homicide – CBC News

Quebec couple\s deaths in Florida being treated as double homicide - CBC News
Canadian couple found dead in Florida, Global Affairs confirms
A Quebec couple was found dead inside their mobile home in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Friday evening and local authorities are treating the case as a double homicide.

Marc Gagne, 80, and Rita Fortin, 78, were from Saint-Côme-Linière, Que., about 100 kilometres southeast of Quebec City.

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Neighbours, worried about the couple's absence after a few days, went to their mobile home to check in and found the door unlocked. Once inside, they discovered the lifeless bodies and contacted emergency services. 

The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating. Keyla Concepcion, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, told CBC on Sunday there is no new information to report.

A spokesperson said their thoughts and sympathies were with the loved ones of the Canadian citizens found dead.

Monique Fortin, Rita's sister, told Radio-Canada 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.

A neighbour discovered their bodies on Friday evening after knocking on the door and discovering it unlocked.

Robert Forest, originally from Burlington, Ont., lives next door to the couple's Florida home. He said the last time he saw Gagne was on Tuesday, when he was outside his home raking leaves.

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He was a friend of the couple, he added, despite the language barrier. "They didn't speak much English and I don't speak a lot of French, but we've been neighbours for 21 years," he said.

On Wednesday, another couple from the neighbourhood, also friends with the deceased, stopped by and told Forest they were looking for Gagne and Fortin. They said they had been trying to phone Gagne, but weren't getting an answer.

"It was a Wednesday afternoon. They stopped by here to see, and I said, 'no, we hadn't seen anybody,'" he said.

"And I knew they had some friends in, probably on Sunday, because they were laughing and having fun in the back. I haven't seen them, except for Marc on Tuesday, after that."

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 main entrance unlocked. A friend of the couple decided to go in while her husband and Forest waited outside.

"She yelled and came running out and said, 'I think there's somebody on the floor,'" he 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 the phone interview. "It's just so, so sad that it could happen to them."

The Golf View Estates mobile home park is usually quiet, said Forest, and there are many English- and French-speaking Canadians living in the community.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the Broward County Sheriff's Office at 954-321-4262.

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

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Global Affairs Canada said it is in contact with officials in Florida after two Canadian citizens were found dead.

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 to CTV News.

The Broward County Sheriffs Office said neighbours of Rita and Marc Gagne discovered the couples bodies in their mobile home in Pompano Beach, Fla., 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 Sheriffs 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.