CANCUN, Mexico – Authorities in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo are investigating the deaths of two women who arrived at the Caribbean island of Cozumel on the cruise ship Allure of The Seas, state Attorney General Francisco Alor said Tuesday.
In an interview with Efe, the official explained that so far authorities have found no link between the deaths.
The case began last Friday when, shortly before leaving Mexican waters, personnel on the Allure of The Seas reported that a Polish musician who worked on the ship and a U.S. tourist had not returned on board after visiting the island.
On Saturday morning, the body of a woman was found floating near the seashore in Cozumel.
The victim had the marks of blows on different parts of her body and at first it was thought that it was missing crew member Monika Markiewicz.
Meanwhile, at a private hospital in nearby Cancun a woman was receiving emergency treatment after she swallowed a metal brooch in an apparent suicide attempt, Alor said.
When she had entered the hospital, the woman had given the name of Monika Markiewicz, but later she said her name was Monica Warshal.
When she could not guarantee the private hospital payment for its services, the institution sent her to Cancun’s General Hospital, which is public, where as per standard procedure hospital authorities notified the Quintana Roo AG’s office and the INM immigration agency that she had been admitted.
Thus, authorities were able to rule out that the body that had been found on the Cozumel beach was that of the missing Polish musician, and it was determined that that body belonged to the missing U.S. tourist, Samantha Page Thomas.
An autopsy determined that the tourist died from asphyxiation by submersion, and it found that the blows on the woman’s face occurred after her death.
“We’re working with the cruise ship people. They have asked for videos, photographs and records to establish what happened to Samantha Page Thomas. For now, we cannot say if this was a murder or if she fell into the sea accidentally,” Alor said.
Meanwhile, Markiewicz died Monday night in the Cancun hospital from lesions caused by the metallic brooch – about 5 centimeters (2 inches) in diameter – that she swallowed, Alor said.
“We’re working with consular authorities on this case, but we have very little information. Apparently, after getting off the cruise ship on the island of Cozumel, she went over to Playa del Carmen and rented a Jeep,” he added.