DETROIT — A Michigan woman who was teaching at a Montessori school in the Dominican Republic was found dead inside her apartment in Puerto Plata with her hands and feet bound.
The Dominican Republic National Police said in a statement that Patricia Ann Anton was strangled to death inside her home. Anton’s cellphone, laptop, 40-inch TV, sheets and a pair of sports shoes were all stolen.
The 63-year-old has been living in the Dominican Republic for the past five years working as a consultant at an elementary school.
“She dedicated her life to helping children,” wrote Anton’s brother-in-law, Thomas Anton, on Facebook.
Anton's cousin, Adrianne Machina, said in a statement to WXYZ that "Patty" was passionate about the Montessori school philosophy and had been working at a school in Traverse City, Michigan before she decided that — with her husband traveling for work and her children out of the house — she wanted to travel to South America and teach. She first taught in Guatemala but then found the right fit in the Dominican Republic at 3 Mariposas Montessori.
"(Patty) ... believed Montessori education is the path out of poverty and the way to teach children to explore their world and build self-reliance," Machina wrote.
3 Mariposas Montessori is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary Saturday, and will have a celebration of Anton’s life Sunday on the beach.
"I imagine heaven for Patty is having her feet in the sand, the sun on her face, and basking in all of our love," Machina wrote.