Romania: British travel writer's death treated as suspicious

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Romanian police have classified the death of a British travel writer as suspicious, almost a month after his decomposing body was found in his Bucharest apartment.

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Police spokeswoman Bogdan Ghebaur said Friday the case of 47-year old David St. Vincent has been handed to the Bucharest prosecutors' office. His body was discovered on Jan. 12 and police initially suspected he had died of natural causes.

St. Vincent wrote about Romania, Iran and Pakistan. He was deported from Iran in 1992 while researching for his Lonely Planet book.

He had lived in Romania for many years and was a founder of Accept, a group that was instrumental in the 2001 decriminalization of homosexuality. He was an active supporter of Syrians opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad, and kept close contact with them.

"He was a perfectly British eccentric in the best possible way, like a character in an Evelyn Waugh or Graham Greene novel," said Eric Gilder, a friend and English teacher in Papua New Guinea. "He will be sorely missed."

St. Vincent is survived by a brother. A funeral will be held in Bucharest on Feb. 18.


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