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Police in Belize believe Vancouver woman died in robbery attempt

Police in the Central American country of Belize are investigating the bloody stabbing death of a Vancouver woman.

Officers were called to the ocean-front community of Consejo Shores on Tuesday night after neighbours reported a woman screaming.

Assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu of the Corozal Police Department said officers had to use a ladder to access the two-storey home because it was locked.

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"Upon the police entering the building, they saw this Caucasian lady lying face down on the floor in the living room in what appeared to be a pool of blood, with several multiple stab wounds to her neck and body," Assistant-Supt. Arzu said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

The woman has been identified as Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, 57, of the Vancouver area.

Assistant-Supt. Arzu said investigators believe the motive was robbery, but nothing appeared to have been taken from the home.

"There certainly was a home invasion."

He said the home had not been ransacked, likely because the neighbours chased the killers off before they had time to do much more than kill the woman.

Neither the neighbours nor police saw anyone leave the home.

Ms. Nichiporowich had been living in the community with her partner for the last six months, Assistant-Supt. Arzu said.

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Police have determined the woman's partner had travelled to Florida on Monday, the day before she was found murdered.

"We have since made contact with the Canadian embassy here in our country and have been advised that she has an only son who will be arriving in the country this Sunday.

"At that point, he might determine what action he will take," Assistant-Supt. Arzu said referring to funeral arrangements.

An autopsy was expected to be performed on the body on Thursday in Belize City.

Assistant-Supt. Arzu said the area where the woman lived was an expatriate retirement community and there is no reason to believe she had any links to crime.

"We don't expect that she may have been murdered because of being a very conniving-type person or she may have owed someone or done some bad deals involving drugs etc.," he said.

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"We look at her as a very decent and responsible visitor."

Murder is unusual in what Assistant-Supt. Arzu called a quite little town.

He said the community has anywhere from nine to 17 criminal incidents a month, ranging from petty crime to robbery.

Belize has tax laws aimed at encouraging and promoting qualified retirees from North America and the United Kingdom to live in the country and spend their money locally.

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