Canadian Sisters Suffer Gruesome Death in Thai Hotel Room

The bodies of Noemi and Audrey Belanger were reportedly found with skin lesions.

ByABC News
June 18, 2012, 11:42 AM

June 18, 2012 — -- Two Canadian sisters were found dead in their hotel room on a popular tourist island in Thailand and the cause of their mysterious deaths is unknown.

The womens' bodies were found in gruesome conditions, reportedly with large quantities of vomit and skin lesions, authorities said.

Noemi Belanger, 25, and Audrey Belanger, 20, of Quebec, were found dead in their room at the Phi Phi Palm Residence Hotel on the Phi Phi Island in the Krabi province on Friday.

Thai newspapers have reported that eating blowfish or poisonous mushrooms could have caused the deaths, but police say the cause of death is still unknown.

Thai police told the Associated Press that the sisters did not appear to have been murdered and that their belongings were not taken.

The sisters checked into the hotel on Tuesday and a hotel maid reportedly told Thai newspapers that she did not clean their room on Wednesday and Thursday because she believed they were inside.

"The maid wanted to check if they wanted to stay at the hotel for another night, but didn't hear any response. So the hotel used a spare key to access the room," police Lt. Col. Jongrak Pimthong told the Associated Press.

What she entered was a grisly scene.

Authorities found a large quantity of vomit, evidence of bleeding and that the womens' nails had turned black, Dr. Pornthep Siriwanarangsan, director general of Disease Control Department, told Bangkok newspaper The Nation.

Thai police referred to the Canadian embassy in Bangkok, which was closed for the day. The Phi Phi Palm Residence Hotel did not respond to request for comment.

"Police determined they were dead for about 24 hours prior to that and only found a lot of vomit in the room," Jongrak told the AP. "There were neither signs of fighting, nor robbery, but we found many kinds of over-the-counter drugs, including ibuprofen, which can cause serious effects on the stomach."

A team of investigators carefully searched the room on Sunday and the bodies will be sent to the Central Forensic Institute of Bangkok for examination.

Members of the Delanger family could not be reached for comment over the phone, but one relative, Frederick Belanger posted on Facebook that the family was "baffled" by the tragic deaths.

"I know that you will always be there for me," Frederick Belanger wrote of Audrey Belanger.

In 2009, an American woman and a Norwegian woman died the same weekend on Phi Phi Island and experienced similar symptoms including vomiting and extreme weakness. Both women died at a hospital where doctors said shock and dehydration caused the deaths.

The families have said that they still do not know what caused the violent illnesses.