SEYCHELLES (CBS4) – New details have been released about the death of a Denver woman and her sister in a luxury hotel on an island off the eastern coast of Africa.
According to the Seychelles News Agency, the autopsies show excess water was found in the women’s lungs. The woman from Denver, Anne Marie Korkki, 37, also had excess water in her brain.
Anne Marie and her sister Robin Marie Korkki, 42, were found unresponsive in their room in the Maia hotel in Seychelles last week.
The autopsies say they died of acute pulmonary edema (and in Anne Marie’s case also cerebral pulmonary edema) which is the accumulation of water in body tissues. We know it generally as a sign of altitude sickness, but it can also be the result of drowning.
Anne Marie was an ice skater and a member of the Denver Synchronicity Masters team. Coach Caitlin Cattelino told CBS4 they are dedicating their season to her.
“She had one of those personalities that just drew you in and she became friends instantly with the women on the team and was really a valuable member,” Cattelino said on Friday.
The Associated Press reported that police said the autopsies were conducted by a forensic pathologist on the island of Mauritius, which is approximately 2-and-a-half hours away by plane.
It’s not clear so far what might have led to the unusual fatalities. A Seychelles newspaper reports resort staff helped the women to their room after drinking the night before they died.
Family members have now traveled to the island since the U.S. State Department cannot return the sisters to the United States.
The sisters had visited Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar before arriving in Seychelles.
The Denver Synchronicity Masters team released a statement about Anne Marie’s death on Friday morning:
Annie was an incredible woman, teammate, and friend. She spoke about this vacation with her sister, Robin, as a trip of a lifetime and a wonderful way for them to celebrate their love of travel and adventure.
Even though Annie only skated with the Denver Synchronicity Masters team the 2015-2016 season, it felt like she had been a part of our family for years. Annie loved to skate and was always positive and encouraging at practice. She was a determined competitor but even more so, she was a caring and compassionate friend. The Denver Synchronicity Masters team is dedicating their 2016-2017 competitive season to Annie and we will carry her memory in our hearts. We will miss her tremendously.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Korkki family and everyone that knew and loved Annie and Robin during this difficult time.