US diplomat in Madagascar found dead in home, suspect in custody

A suspect has been detained in connection with the mysterious death of an American diplomat inside his Madagascar residence late last week, the U.S. State Department revealed Monday.

The unnamed diplomat was found dead during the overnight hours Friday in the capital of the Indian Ocean nation off the coast of Africa, officials said.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a U.S. Foreign Service Officer was found dead in their residence,” Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and the U.S. Embassy Antananarivo community.”

Nauert told Reuters a suspect is in custody and said U.S. and local authorities have opened an investigation into the death.

Police spokesperson Herilalatiana Andrianarisaona told Agence France-Press the male suspect was “caught trying to jump the perimeter fence fleeing from the house.”

No other details were released.

Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest nations despite having reserves of nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and other minerals. It has struggled with high crime rates and political instability.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.