Family found dead in Mexico City resort killed by poison gas

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MEXICO CITY – Autopsies indicate that an Iowa couple and their two children died from inhaling poison gas at a rented condo on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, but there was no sign of criminal act or suicide, Mexican authorities said on Saturday.

The state prosecutor’s office in Quintana Roo, on the Caribbean coast, said “the cause of death was asphyxiation from inhaling poisonous gases.” He said the type of gas had not yet been determined, but added that “any act of violence or suicide has been ruled out.”

Photos released by the bureau showed investigators in anti-contamination gear and firefighters with air tanks examining gas connections to a stove in Tulum’s apartment. The office said investigators “have conducted a physical investigation into the gas connections in the room,” and the Tulum Civil Defense Office will issue a technical report on the results.

In 2010, the explosion of an improperly installed gas line at a hotel in the nearby town of Playa del Carmen killed five Canadian tourists and two Mexicans.

Iowa officials have identified the family as Kevin Sharp, 41; his wife, Amy Sharp, 38, and their children Sterling, 12, and Adrianna, 7. They were from Creston, Iowa.

The family was reported missing by relatives in their hometown about a week after the family left on vacation. Creston Police contacted the US State Department and the bodies were found during a welfare check at the Tulum condominium on the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Quintana Roo prosecutor’s office said the family had been dead for 36 to 48 hours when they were found in the Tao condominium complex on Friday.

Contacted Friday, the developer of the condo complex where the deaths occurred declined to comment.

Iowa’s Creston News Advertiser reported that the family flew to Cancun on March 14. According to her sister, Amy Sharp texted their mother the next day to let her know she had arrived in Tulum, but relatives have not heard from the family again.

Sister Renee Hoyt said the Sharp’s are due to return to the United States this week. They were scheduled to depart from Cancun airport on Wednesday and travel to St. Louis on a nonstop flight. The family had planned to travel approximately 200 miles to Danville, Ill., To watch a basketball game on Thursday, Hoyt said.

When the family did not arrive in Saint-Louis, family members contacted authorities, she said.


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