The bodies of an Englishwoman and her Belgian boyfriend have been found in their apartment at Torre Iberius in Armação de Pêra. The couple have been identified as 65-year-old Firmin Van Hecke Emiel and 60-year-old Elsie, although police have not released the woman’s surname. Some friends found their bodies when they decided to call on the couple whom they had not heard from in several days. After knocking on the couple’s apartment door for some time, they asked the landlord, Ana Silva, to open up the flat. “We thought something terrible must have happened. We arranged to go out last Friday, but they never turned up,” Geoffrey and Patricia Tobias explained. When the door was opened, the Tobias’ made a horrific discovery – Firmin’s body was slumped in an armchair. Firmin’s corpse was slumped in an armchair and a gun lay on the floor next to him. Across the room, Elsie’s dead body lay on the sofa – she was covered with a sheet, but had clearly sustained serious injuries to the head.
A spokesperson from the Armação de Pêra GNR revealed that, by the time the bodies were discovered, they were decomposing, which has led officers to conclude that a violent argument had happened several days earlier. He added that they believe that Firmin killed his partner before he killed himself. Officers found a blood stained iron bar in the apartment and believe that Firmin battered Elsie with it during a drunken, jealous rage. But they are not discounting the possibility that he also shot his girlfriend. The Belgian national was known for his drinking and argumentative nature. “Firmin lived in the apartment for some years before Elsie came to live with him,” Ana Silva said, adding: “He drank lots of alcohol and made a lot of noise.” Geoffrey Tobias added that Elsie had been a very happy and enthusiastic woman. “Firmin had an alcohol problem,” he confirmed. “He would sometimes spend days in bed when he got drunk, and their relationship suffered. But he was actually going to Germany soon to treat his problem.” Another of the deceased couple’s friends revealed that not only did Firmin have a drink problem, he was also a very jealous man. Both bodies have been taken to the Barlavento Hospital for autopsies to discover the cause of death.