A murder investigation has been opened following the discovery of the bodies of two British people in Boudrac (Haute-Garonne) on Sunday (April 24).
The body of a 65-year-old woman was found with signs of strangulation, while her 64-year-old husband was discovered close by. He appears to have hanged himself.
The alarm was raised after two of the couple’s British friends went to check on them, having not heard from them in a while, reports French media ActuToulouse.
On arriving at the house, they found “the inert body of the lady, aged around 65 years, on the ground, clearly deceased,” the public prosecutor of nearby Saint-Gaudens, Christophe Amunzateguy, who confirmed that the murder investigation had begun, is quoted as saying.
The gendarmes were immediately called because the woman’s body bore the marks of “blows and, notably, the presence of a rope around her neck.
“Some moments later, the gendarmes discovered the presence of her husband’s body; he had died when he hanged himself in a gîte adjoining the house,” Mr Amunzateguy added.
The evidence collected so far “clearly suggests a femicide,” and “at this stage we do not have [any indication] of the presence of a third person.
“This woman’s death was not of her own volition.”
The murder inquiry is being led by the Saint-Gaudens gendarmerie.
It appears that the pair had been experiencing financial difficulties and that “one ended the other’s days before committing suicide themselves,” Mr Amunzateguy added.
An autopsy was due to be carried out on both bodies today at the Institut Médico-Légal de Toulouse today (April 26), in order to determine “the exact causes of death, the exact date, and to confirm that a third person was not involved.”
The public prosecutor estimates that the bodies had been in the house for “a few days, since Thursday, April 21 or Friday, April 22.
“The autopsy will enable us to offer a more precise answer.”
The Connexion has contacted Mr Amunzateguy for an update on the situation today. A spokesperson for the Saint-Gaudens gendarmerie said that he did not believe that the autopsy results had been published at the time of writing.
The couple had bought their house a year and a half ago with plans to set up a chambre d’hôtes there.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office declined to comment on the matter.