HALIFAX -- A Nova Scotia man living in Belize has been found dead on his property.

James (Jim) Slemp was reported missing on Friday after friends got worried he wasn't answering his phone.

Police say the missing person case turned into something more serious and sinister.

"The lifeless body of 79-year-old Canadian national, James Slemp, was discovered in a lagoon near his Hopkins Road farm three days after he went missing," Joseph Myvett, the head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch in Belize, said.

The sudden death of Slemp was announced on Belize television and quickly shared by friends back in Nova Scotia.

"A short while ago, his body was recovered in a lagoon, not too far from his residence, with apparent injuries to the back," Myvett said Monday, the day Slemp's body was found. "The body is being retrieved at this time where a post-mortem is expected to be conducted (Tuesday). Police are seeking one person whom they believe can assist them in this investigation."

Although it is too early to be certain, police suspect foul play.

"Yes, we do believe so, based on the injuries," Myvett said.

Slemp lived in Fraserville, N.S., near Parrsboro for much of the year, but had wintered in Belize for the last 20 years.

Meanwhile, friends are remembering Slemp in happier times. Carol Corbett described her friend as a person who had a zest for life. Her son, Martin Corbett, visited Slemp in Belize and both remember him as a hard worker.

Slemp had built a life there, clearing the jungle to create his home, and had a little farm on the river. It was a home away from home, that for now has become a crime scene as police try to solve what happened to Slemp.

-- With files from CTV Atlantic's Marie Adsett.