A British man murdered his wife then hanged himself at their home in France after running out of money for their B&B dream, investigators say.
John Boyes, 64, hit and strangled Kathryn Boyes, 65, before leaving her mutilated body on a sofa.
It is believed he then took his own life in an outhouse at the property in Boudrac, south of Toulouse.
Forensics point to the tragedy happening on Thursday but they were not found by police until Sunday, when friends reported them missing.
Prosecutor Christophe Amunzateguy opened a murder investigation, adding: ‘She had been dead for some days and had a rope around her neck.
‘Wounds were also found on her body — there were signs of strangulation and blows.’
He confirmed a note left by Mr Boyes, pointing to financial difficulties, had been found, adding: ‘There was no evidence of a third party involved.’
The couple, originally from South Yorkshire and Kent, moved to France around a decade ago, before settling last summer in the village of Boudrac at the foot of the Pyrenees.
They bought a series of buildings for around £200,000, with the idea of converting them into a B&B business.
But their savings ran dry and they were facing ‘severe financial problems,’ Mr Amunzateguy said.
A neighbour said: ‘They were very nice people who would often be out walking their dog.
‘They mixed well with everyone else in the village, including joining in games of petanque. They were very typical, nice British people.
‘People said they had stopped hearing their dog barking, and that’s why there were fears something might have happened.’
The dog was found unharmed.