Near the end of October, a trio of friends settled into their Airbnb in Mexico City ahead of Día de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead – which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. On October 30th, one of the friends called their boyfriend and complained she was feeling sick before the call suddenly dropped.
The boyfriend attempted to call her back but began to worry when she wouldn’t pick up. Worried that something happened to her, he contacted the host of the Airbnb they were staying at and asked them to do a wellness check on the group of friends. Authorities arrived on the scene to find three dead bodies.
The three friends – Kandace Florence, Jordan Marshall, and Courtez Hall – were looking forward to learning more about the local culture, as they traveled often. Unfortunately, police officers are now investigating their deaths. Initial police reports indicate they likely passed away from gas inhalation.
Jordan Marshall, 28, taught 12th-grade English at Rosenwald Collegiate High School in New Orleans. His mother, Jennifer Marshall explained his love of traveling and while she often worried when he left, she found comfort in knowing he was in good company. She added that her son lived “a very, very full life.”
“We never tried to deter our son from living his best life and experiencing other cultures. He loved history; he loved to learn about the cuisine and culture and the people of other places. So I never wanted him to live in fear and not to experience life because of things that could happen,” Marshall’s mother continued.
Courtez Hall, 33, was also a teacher – he taught 7th-grade history at KIPP Morial School in New Orleans. His mother, Ceola, confirmed that information has been hard to come by since learning of the incident. “Because of the language barrier and stuff you cannot get anything through or really understand.”
Kandace Florence – the one who called her boyfriend on Oct. 30 – was the owner of a candle company called Glo Through It, which she founded in 2018. Her 29th birthday would’ve been on November 9th. According to her sister-in-law, their family has also struggled to learn information since she passed away.
For Now, the Bodies Remain in Mexico City
While it’s been more than a week since the trio of friends passed away, not much information has been released as families continue to mourn without much closure. The bodies are expected to be flown back to the United States in the coming days – if they haven’t arrived already – with funerals beginning soon.
“We continue to monitor the Mexican authorities’ investigation into the death of three U.S. citizens and await the public announcement of their official findings. We continue to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families. We have nothing further to add at this time,” said the State Department.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Americans have died of gas inhalation while traveling abroad. In May, three Americans died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a Bahamas Sandals resort. There was also a 2018 incident where a family passed away after a water heater caused a gas leak at their resort.
“This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones as they grieve such an unimaginable loss. Our priority right now is supporting those impacted as the authorities investigate what happened, and we stand ready to assist with their inquiries,” said an Airbnb spokesperson to TODAY.
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