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POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) — Alarmed residents of a mobile home park staged a demonstration Monday after a beloved, elderly couple from Canada was discovered murdered inside their home late Friday afternoon.
More than 150 residents of the Golf View Estates Mobile Home Park marched through the community on Monday afternoon, expressing concern about the murders and calling for more security at the park that is not far from Atlantic Boulevard and the Florida Turnpike.
A Freelance reporter for TVA Nouvelles tells CBS4’S Peter D’Oench that family members told reporters at his station that 80-year-old Mark Gagne and his wife, 78-year-old Rita Fortin Gagne, were in their pajamas when they were discovered and had been beaten to death.
“What we know is from family members talking to our reporters in Canada is that they were wearing pajamas when they were discovered and they were discovered two days after their murder by a female neighbor who had not heard from them in a few days and went to their home,” said reporter Christian Faucher.
“They were beaten to death, family members told us,” added Faucher.
The Gagnes were from Saint Come-Liniere, a small village in Quebec province that is not far from Maine. Residents said they were surprised and said the couple had many friends.
Monique Fortin, the sister of Rita Fortin Gagne, told a TV station in Canada, “I don’t feel good about the way they died.”
“Sadly we also know that the couple was supposed to come here earlier this year but their 52-year-old daughter was sick with cancer and they came here right away after her funeral after she passed away,” said Faucher. “This couple had been coming here for 40 years and built a home here 20 years ago.”
“This was not the first time something happened here recently,” said Faucher. “A couple of weeks ago a couple woke up and $500 was missing and who knows what happened to them if they woke up at a different time,” said Faucher.
Vickey Campbell is the President of the Homeowners Association.
“This march is to show support for the family,” Campbell said. “This could happen anywhere. Murder is murder but in this community we are sad and upset about it.”
Nearly all of those who marched are from Canada.
Romeo Cormier said “I am very concerned about my safety.”
Camilien Hache said “This could happen anywhere. This could happen to me.”
Another neighbor, Ronald Young, said, “I am concerned about the safety of the community. This happened down the street from where I live.”
D’Oench asked a manager at the mobile home park about the neighbors’ calls for more security. That manager said he had “no comment.”
Three days after the couple was discovered, the Broward Sheriff’s Office still has an area of the park sealed off with yellow crime scene tape.
BSO has not released many details about the case so far and has not said if the murders at 770 Birdie Lane were random or involved someone who may have known them.
Anyone with information that can help BSO should call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $3,000.