Updated Wed. Feb. 22 2006 6:13 AM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Two Canadian tourists, who were in Mexico for their daughter's wedding, were found brutally murdered in their hotel room one day before the nuptials.
"Foreign Affairs has been informed yesterday of the death of a Canadian couple," Pamela Greenwell, Foreign Affairs spokesperson told CTV.ca on Tuesday night.
"Contact has been established with accompanying family in order to offer consular assistance," she said, adding that Mexican authorities have launched an investigation into their deaths.
Local papers say Domenic Ianiero, a 59-year-old real estate agent, and his 55-year-old wife Nancy were discovered slain in their hotel room on Monday morning, their throats slit by a knife, execution-style.
According to unconfirmed local reports, the bodies were found after family members became concerned when they were unable to locate the couple.
It's believed nothing was stolen from the Ianiero's room, nor were there signs of forced entry.
The Woodbridge, Ont. couple was staying at the luxurious Maya Barcelo hotel, which is located some 20 kilometres south of Playa del Carmen.
The hotel's general manager told CTV's Scott Laurie that he could not give out any further information about the murders.
"It's pretty clear from walking in the lobby that there is an increased security presence there. There were a lot of people walking around, not in uniform but in walkie talkies, clearly keeping track of who is coming and going from the hotel," Laurie reported from Playa del Carmen.
Authorities have questioned sixteen Canadians in Mexico, who were travelling with the couple for the wedding, which was scheduled for Tuesday.
It's unclear the role Canadian authorities will play in the investigation.
"The Mexican police naturally have prime jurisdiction in the area, so in the end we must leave it to them," said Dave Harris, the former chief of strategic planning for CSIS.
"But they have every incentive to be co-operative because when you think about it a good deal of Mexico's income does come from tourism and Canadians are considerable contributors to that influx," Harris said, appearing on CTV Newsnet.
Meanwhile, news of the couple's deaths have left neighbours and co-workers reeling.
"He is not the type of person that this should actually happen to," said Vince Carere of Domenic Ianiero, who he worked with at HomeLife Real Estate.
One neighbour, who described the couple as "smiling" and "friendly," told CTV Toronto: "We were shocked. I don't even know what words I can say to describe what we felt."