Nathan Lewis, who was accused of murdering his wife, Debbie, was found hanged in his Port Elizabeth restaurant.

Port Elizabeth - An American out on R20 000 bail for the murder of his wife was found hanged in his Port Elizabeth restaurant on Monday.

The body of Nathan Lewis, 44, originally from Tacoma in Washington, was found in the smoking section of the popular Pierre’s Bistro in the Greenacres Shopping Complex.

“He was to appear in court again on February 17,” said police spokesman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg.

Lewis was arrested for murder in September after his story that he and wife Debbie, 36, had been victims of a break-in did not check out. Debbie was co-owner of the restaurant.

Information obtained by police revealed that the couple had been having marital problems. They married in May 2010, shortly after Lewis arrived from the US.

He worked as a general manager for operations and finance at the Maersk Line shipping company in Panama, before arriving in South Africa.

He has four children from a previous marriage who live in New York.

Lewis had allegedly told police he and Debbie had been attacked at their Fernglen home.

However, an initial police investigation revealed conflicting elements with his statements.

Lewis said the attackers had broken a window but the evidence suggested he smashed it himself and the wounds to his arms were self-inflicted.

Pierre’s Bistro is well known to and popular with Port Elizabethans. It is situated in one of the Greenacres complex’s main food courts.