Mystery Thai resort deaths from food?
of Article: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/05/11/thailand.mystery.deaths/
Thailand (CNN) -- Thai authorities investigating the recent deaths
of two female tourists suspect that the women may have died from food
poisoning, police sources told CNN Monday.
Onge, a 27-year-old artist from Seattle, Washington, and Julie Michelle
Bergheim, a 22-year-old Norwegian woman, died at the same resort on
Thailand's Phi Phi Island just over a week ago.
results of the autopsies have not been released by police, who are citing
Onge's fiance, Ryan Kells, accompanied her remains as they were flown to
the United States on Saturday, her family told CNN.
ashes are now with her mother," Robert St. Onge, Jill's brother, wrote
on a Web site created to update friends and family. "Thank God every
one made it back safe."
police investigators have ruled out poisoning from the nearby water
treatment plant, according to police sources on Phi Phi Island and in its
province, Krabi. They are concentrating their investigation on whether the
women died from food poisoning, either from food or beverages, according to
the sources who did not want to be named pending the ongoing investigation.
owner of Laleena, the guesthouse where the women were staying, told CNN
that his facility had nothing to do with the case. He had earlier said in
published reports that he believes the women's deaths came from drinking
Onge had been visiting Thailand with Kells at the end of a three-month
journey, during which the two had become engaged.
week before her death, the 27-year-old woman wrote in her online journal a
description of the surroundings near where the Leonardo Dicaprio movie
"The Beach" was filmed.
hey! We're in koh phi phi right now. It's off the west coast of Thailand about a 2 hour boat ride from
krabi. So amazing ... just drinking eating and living so cheaply and having
a blast. Food, drink, good books, sun and warm waters ... What else do ya
need?," St. Onge blogged on April 26.
May 2, Kells found St. Onge vomiting in their hotel room. She had told him
earlier that she had not been feeling well. He put her into a shopping cart
and searched for help.
couldn't breathe, she was vomiting," Kells, 31, told CNN affiliate
KGO-TV. "I tried to run her to a hospital and she ended up passing
within maybe 12 hours of being sick."
St. Onge said his sister had been healthy and that her sudden death was a
such a shock," he told CNN. "There was no way to hear last words
or even see her because she has already been cremated."
Internet postings on the family's blog, Kells also described feeling ill at
the hotel and said that he believed something in their room had made the
He said he
had spent less time in their room than his fiancee.
Foreign Ministry is still waiting for the results of Thailand's post-mortem
examination, and is in constant contact with Bergheim's family, ministry
spokesman Christian Hansson told CNN.
-- a student in Sydney, Australia -- had stopped in Thailand with a friend
before returning to Norway, according to Norwegian state media. Her friend
also became seriously ill, but has since recovered, the reports said.
newspaper Netteavisen -- citing local police chief Nopadon Klom Thong --
reported that traces of cyanide were found in the dead woman's stomach.
final autopsy results are not expected until Thursday, according to
U.S. Embassy in Thailand has been working with the St. Onge family, said
Michael Turner, an embassy spokesman.
police know we are concerned about this. But as with any investigation, it
could take some time," Turner said.
St. Onge said Thai authorities told his family that the inquiry could take
four to eight weeks. He said the family had been given tissue samples so
they could have testing done by an independent laboratory.
At Shadowland, the Seattle restaurant where Jill St.
Onge used to work as a bartender, a corner of the bar is filled with
pictures, candles and postcards from the couple.
"Greetings from Phnom Penh,"
one from Jill reads, "We love you guys."