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German couple killed near vacation home in Tobago

November 23, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Detectives in Trinidad and Tobago are investigating the slaying of an elderly German couple who were found hacked to death on a beach near their vacation home on Tobago’s southern coast, officials said Sunday.

Investigators identified the slain husband and wife as Hubertus and Brigid Keil, who both were in their 70s. Their hometown in Germany was not immediately clear.

The Tobago House of Assembly said the couple had been coming to their Bacelot Bay home in Tobago for 15 years and were well known in the beach community, where they generally stayed from October to March. They arrived in Tobago about three weeks ago.

On Saturday, passersby found their bodies with multiple chop wounds on a beach near their vacation villa. Police have given no motive but report the couple’s house keys and a cellphone were found in their clothes. The German couple’s residence was not disturbed.

The House of Assembly said police have set up a “high-level team to pursue the investigation with the aim of bringing to justice whoever is responsible.”

Police said Sunday there have been no arrests.

The vacation residence is a short distance away from the Bacelot villa where a British couple was seriously injured in a home invasion by a machete-wielding attacker in 2009. A 25-year-old man had been arrested in that case, but a magistrate later released him from custody citing a lack of evidence. In 2008, a Swedish couple was killed in their Tobago villa in a similar home invasion. That case also remains unsolved.

The slayings of the German couple bring the homicide rate to seven for the year in Tobago, the smaller and less developed of the two islands that make up Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad has far more crime than Tobago, but the U.S. State Department says violent crime in Tobago is “an issue, including attacks on expatriate residents and tourists in their residences, many of which involve the use of machetes.”

The German Embassy in Trinidad’s capital of Port-of-Spain did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

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David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd

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