A Yucatán judge has ordered that the suspect in the murder of Canadian photographer Barbara McClatchie Andrews remain in custody while the investigation continues, a process that could take several months.
Juan Carlos López Martínez, an ex-Campeche state police officer allegedly with a criminal record in his native Veracruz state, was arrested Sunday Oct. 2 and faces a charge of aggravated homicide.
López Martínez was working as a driver with the ADO bus line in Cancún September 29 when McClatchie Andrews arranged to have him drive her home to Mérida. She had arrived at the Cancun airport after an extended trip to Canada and the U.S.
Her body was found the following morning at the side of the Cancún-Mérida highway a few kilometers outside Merida. She had been strangled to death.
During the court hearing Friday Oct. 7, López Martínez’ defense attorney argued that investigators’ search of his client’s home in the town of Kinchil near Merida was illegal. That search is believed to have yielded a camera belonging to McClatchie Andrews and her identification.
The 74-year-old victim had lived for many years in Mérida, where she operated a gallery for new artists. A seasoned traveler, her photography had appeared in National Geographic magazine among other publications.
Friends and family of McClatchie Andrews gathered last Wednesday at her Mérida gallery where her brother, Samuel McClatchie, said his sister lost her life for $500. When someone attempted to rob her, he said, she fought to keep her belongings.
He lamented that she had forgotten the rules of a traveler: don’t travel alone if you’re a senior, don’t travel at night, avoid remote routes and if you’re attacked don’t fight back.
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