Atlanta family searches for relative missing in Belize

An Atlanta family is searching for a loved one who disappeared in the Central American country of Belize nearly a week ago after leaving a bar with his girlfriend, who also is missing.

Drew DeVoursney, 36, a Marine veteran, was last seen late Tuesday night as he left Scotty’s Bar and Grill in Corozal, Belize, with his girlfriend, Francesca Matus, 52. They apparently never made it home and they’ve not been heard from since.

The white 1998 Isuzu Rodeo that belonged to Matus was found Sunday in a remote sugar cane field about 10 or so miles from the bar, according to DeVoursney’s brother, David. The family had been expecting Drew DeVoursney to fly home to Atlanta later this week.

“It’s been a big mystery,” David DeVoursney said. “Nobody down there has any clue what could have happened.”

Drew DeVoursney had been living in Corozal, a coastal town about nine miles from the southeastern border of Mexico, since December with a friend. He had been dating Matus the past two or three months and she was scheduled to fly home from the English-speaking country back to Canada last Wednesday morning, according to David DeVoursney

“He’s been having a really good time down there, having a vacation,” he said. “He was looking forward to coming back to Georgia.”

Drew DeVoursney, whose mother, Char DeVoursney, lives in the Atlanta area, grew up in Nashville. He attended Montreat College in North Carolina, but joined the Marines after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served a couple of tours in Iraq. He was a disabled veteran, but was scheduled to enroll in a technical college in Georgia this month to get his heavy equipment license.

Search teams of dozens of people have been looking for the couple in Belize, but there had been no trace until Matus’ car was discovered Sunday. Authorities do not believe they made it home after leaving the bar on Tuesday, Devoursney said. The family has been in touch with the U.S. Embassy in Belize, but information has been sparse.

"It's been a complete nightmare," said David DeVoursney, who is hoping to fly to Belize this week to help search for his brother. A close friend started a fundraiser to seek donations to help cover expenses for the search.