Tuesday, March 12 2013 @ 11:11 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Panamanian police long believed the disappearance of the 68-year-old, who vanished from his home Nov. 8, was suspicious, but the suitcase discovery has investigators treating it as a homicide, according to Panama-Guide.com journalist Don Winner, who has followed the case.
Skeletal remains were found in the suitcase March 1 by employees of the Altos de Campana National Park, according to Winner. A blood sample from Moynan's sister, Ruth Alchemy, was used to match DNA from the bones.
Earlier Monday, Alchemy said from her home in Panama that they were awaiting results of forensic testing to identify the remains.
"It's a wait-and-see situation," Alchemy said. "As soon as they know, family (from Ottawa) will come down."
Moynan, the retired former owner of Centennial Glass, and his family had long vacationed in Panama and had been living in a beach-side community for more than two years.
"He just wanted to enjoy life," said longtime family friend Keith McClatchie, who pressed government officials last fall to get involved in Moynan's disappearance. " I wasn't holding any false hopes but the family was, until they knew. I feel better for the family now that they know for sure."
Police believed the disappearance was suspicious since items from Moynan's home were missing, his glasses were found broken and there were signs he didn't plan to be gone for long.
Rumors had long swirled in the community that Moynan may have been a victim of foul play.
Police searched his home on Nov. 15, finding the air conditioner running, lights left on, door unlocked and a wallet and watch on a table.
The murder rate in Panama is relatively high, said Winner, but most are related to drug trafficking and "almost never" involve English-speaking ex-pats.
Alchemy is keeping in touch with family in Ottawa via Skype, and other family members were to travel to Panama pending the outcome.
Consular officials are in contact with Panamanian police to gather additional information and are providing assistance to the family, according to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, adding their thoughts are with the family and friends "of a Canadian citizen who passed away in Panama."
Police are continuing their investigation. (Sun News)