Friday, 5 September 2008

Murder-suicide pact British couple have been discovered in their holiday home

05:02 |

Bodies of a British couple have been discovered in their holiday home in the French Basque country, in a case which authorities have described as a murder-suicide.
Officials believed that 76-year-old Jon Ortuzar strangled his wife, Carlotta, 60, then drowned himself in the pool at the villa in Urrugne, near the Spanish border.
According to eitb, a Basque news channel, the bodies were discovered by a cleaner on Tuesday morning. the husband was found in the pool, weighed down with a sports bag. The wife was discovered dead in a bedroom with bruises on her face and a cord around her neck. A hammer was found next to her, and a letter, believed to have been written by Ortuzar. Its contents have not been revealed, but a local official described the letter as “explanatory”.The French newspaper Sud Ouest said Ortuzar was the son of a senior member of the PNV Basque nationalist party who had fled from Franco’s regime in the 1930s and come to the UK.Born in London, Ortuzar was a businessman in the City of London for most of his career, the newspaper reported. Later, he and his wife moved to Madrid, but retained their British nationality. They did not have children. Ortuzar and his brother both bought homes in Urrugne, where the two families were well known.Odile de Coral, mayor of Urrugne, told Sud Ouest: “I went to the house straight away to offer my support to the brother and the nephews of the victims, who have also made Urrugne their second home. Jon and Carlotta came very often to the Basque country, where they bought this house just after the war.”Police found no evidence of a struggle at the house, and nothing appeared to have been stolen, leading them to the murder-suicide theory. A friend of the couple, Daniel Poulou, said: “They were charming people, who loved having guests round and knew how to treat them.”

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