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63-year-old woman found dead in Dominican Republic

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(CNN) – People in Michigan are mourning the death of a teacher found murdered in the Dominican Republic.

“She walked into a room and just by being there she made it better,” said former co-worker Missy Russell. “She was somebody who gave… was giving and she knew what to say at the right time and that’s a gift and there aren’t a lot of people who know how to do that.”

63-year-old Patricia Anton taught in Grand Traverse County, Michigan, before moving to the Dominican Republic, where she was found bound, gagged and strangled this week.

Anton’s cousin Adrianne Machina says Anton went to the Dominican Republic in the early 1970s for the Peace Corps and helped build a school.

In 2014, she moved to the Dominican Republic to teach at 3 Mariposas Montessori.

The school posted about her tragic death on Facebook saying, “Patty loved each and every one of our children just as if they were her own. She will be missed here on earth but will forever stay in our hearts. Those who know her hope she’ll be remembered by the impact she had on others… not the events surrounding her death.”

Investigators say Anton’s death is tied to a robbery.

A memorial service is planned for Anton this Sunday in the Dominican Republic.

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