An American diplomat serving in Madagascar was found dead at home, the Department of State said in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a U.S. Foreign Service Officer was found dead in their residence in the overnight hours of Friday, September 21,” spokeswoman Heather Hauert stated. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and to the U.S. Embassy Antananarivo community.”
“Diplomatic Security is collaborating with local Malagasy authorities on a joint investigation and a suspect is currently in custody,” she said. “Out of respect for the family of the deceased as well as the ongoing investigative process, the Department does not have any additional comments at this time.”
We are deeply saddened to confirm that a U.S. Foreign Service Officer was found dead in their residence in the overnight hours of Friday, September 21. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and to the @USMadagascar community. pic.twitter.com/ZBLOmk3q3f
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) September 25, 2018
The foreign service officer was found lifeless overnight on Friday, but no further details were released about the identity of the diplomat, out of respect for the family. The cause of death has not been made public.
A joint investigation between Diplomatic Security and Malagasy law enforcement is underway.
A suspect is in custody after being arrested while attempting to jump over a fence surrounding the perimeter of the home, per Antananarivo police spokesperson Herilalatiana Andrianarisaona who spoke with the AFP news agency.
Andrianarisaona suggests that it may have been an attack that caused the death of the US diplomat, but no further details about the suspect, motive, or cause of the diplomat’s death have been released.
Madagascar is a poverty-stricken island with high levels of violence. It’s located off the southeastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.
Madagascar is rated as a travel advisory level 2. Travel.State.Gov suggests travelers “exercise increased precautions in Madagascar due to civil unrest and crime.”