ST. LOUIS – A spring break tragedy in Mexico has taken the life of a woman from the St. Louis area.
It happened Wednesday at the Now Jade Riviera, located about 25 miles south of Cancun.
Three seniors from Lafayette High School and their mothers spoke to FOX 2 after they had just returned from the resort where their vacation took a sudden, terrifying turn.
As one of the students put it, it had been the trip of a lifetime. The students and their mothers said the resort had a large group from at least three St. Louis-area high schools: Lafayette, Eureka, and Kirkwood.
The students did not find the body but happened to walk by the scene where it was found.
The victim was apparently the mother of a St. Louis-area student who had fallen from a fourth-floor room. Their mothers later saw a room door covered with crime tape.
This was all in a different part of the resort from where they were staying.
A spokeswoman for the US State Department confirmed the death of a US citizen near Cancun and offered sincerest condolences to the woman’s family.
According to the general manager of Now® Jade Riviera Cancun resort, local authorities have determined the death an “accident.”
The full statement reads, “We have been informed that the authorities have determined that the tragic incident that recently occurred at Now® Jade Riviera Cancun was the result of an accident. We extend our sincere sympathy to family and friends of the deceased.”
The three students and their mothers sent their prayers and condolences, as well.
“You could see the looks on people’s faces. It was truly heartbreaking. Again, you never know what to expect. In the snap of your fingers, something could be gone,” said Lafayette senior Ava Scaglione.
“We all just need to be aware of our surroundings, be very cautious now,” Lexi Basler said.
The state department spokeswoman reminded US residents of the ongoing travel advisory in Mexico, which urges people to exercise increased caution due to crime. It says: “Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, occur throughout the state. Most homicides appear to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by US citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.”
The spokeswoman would provide no further details on whether this was an accidental death or something else but said the state department was are closely monitoring the investigation of local authorities in Mexico into the cause of death.