*Updates below* - Just released details strongly suggest a familial homicide
U.S. press sources, including the Washington Post, Fox News and others, have today reported the murder of an American woman in the expatriate popular community of San Miguel Allende, in Guanajuato state.
All of the stories are based upon an Associated Press account.
The woman was identified as Joyous Heart. Her hometown or place of birth were not given. Her body was found on or about Feb. 1. She was stabbed to death and her throat was slashed, according to English news accounts.
It is unknown how long the victim had lived in San Miguel Allende.
Guanajuato is in central Mexico. San Miguel has long been renowned as an arts community.
Two years ago the city was beset by a series of expatriate homicides. Mexican Murder Mystery: Three Americans Dead in Last Three Weeks. But foreign residents insist there's no problem with security in the area. San Miguel is Safe.
The previous spate of expatriate murders occurred on Jan. 19, Jan. 23 and Feb. 6, 2011.
7:30 p.m. Several Spanish language reports on this case have appeared within the last couple of hours. All of them picked up the story after it began circulating in English earlier today (usually when a crime affecting an American in Mexico occurs, it's the other way around). The most detailed story is this one: Encuentran a mujer estadounidense degollada en San Miguel de Allende, and the essential facts are these: Although Heart's body was found Feb. 1, the state prosecutor did not publicly report that fact until today. He gave no explanation for the delay. The victim had about 40 wounds, which were inflicted by a knife or some other sharp object (arma blanca). Her business was renting rooms to travelers, especially Americans. Heart has an adopted daughter who is 18, but authorities have not been able to locate the girl. The story also reports - I include this only in the interest of full disclosure, and not to suggest in any way that it's material to the case - Heart adopted the child four years ago, when she was 14, at which time the girl "was suffering from severe schizophrenia." Tenants in the house told police that mother and daughter had had a "fierce argument," after which they did not see Heart again. Eventually they went to the police and filed a report, resulting in the body's discovery.
Follow MGRR for periodic updates.
Crimes against foreign nationals in Mexico
Feb. 4 - Spanish tourists raped, robbed on Acapulco beach front
Jan. 18 - "Violence on Yucatán soil" - against foreigners
Dec. 30 - Six weeks after murder of American in Mérida, no arrests, no identified suspects
Nov. 12 - Another American resident murdered in Mérida