Associated Press

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) – A U.S. man is being held in the death of his American girlfriend in the Caribbean resort city of Playa del Carmen, Mexican authorities said Sunday.

Federal police identified the man as John Loveless, 59, but did not give his hometown. It said in a statement that he was detained at the Cancun airport before he was to board a flight to Atlanta.

According to the prosecutors’ office in Quintana Roo state, where both Playa del Carmen and Cancun are located, he faces a criminal homicide investigation in the death of the woman, with whom he was in a relationship.

The woman was found dead Wednesday in a condo the couple had rented, and a forensic examination concluded she died of asphyxia by strangulation.

The suspect was in custody in Playa del Carmen. Appearing before a judge Friday, he declined to make an official declaration in the case, and it was not clear whether he had a local attorney.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City confirmed the death in Playa del Carmen of an American citizen it identified as Tamra Turpin. It offered condolences and said it was providing consular assistance in the case.

The embassy said it was also aware of reports that a U.S. citizen had been detained, but referred further questions to Mexican authorities.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Turpin, 36, was from Union, Missouri. The newspaper quoted family members as saying she had gone to Mexico on vacation with her boyfriend, a lawyer.

(TM and ? Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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