Spring Break Woman Found Dead at Cancun Resort, Investigation Launched

An investigation has been launched after a woman from Missouri was found dead while on a spring break vacation at a Mexican resort.

The unidentified woman, reportedly part of a visit involving pupils and parents from three schools in the St. Louis area, died on Wednesday at the Now Jade Riviera Cancun resort, 25 miles south of Cancun.

KSN-TV news channel reported that the woman died after falling from a fourth-floor room. She was believed to have been the mother of a student from one of three schools taking part in the trip—Lafayette, Eureka, and Kirkwood.

The woman was found by a group of three students who happened to walk past her body. Police tape was later seen covering the door to a hotel room at the resort.

McKenzie O'Neal, one of the students who was in Cancun and who came across the body, told the channel: "Going into the trip we were like, 'This is going to be the best time of our lives. It's going to be awesome.'

"I don't think we ever imagined the worst things that could have happened, that we could be involved with it. We could see it. It's really scary."

Another student, Ava Scaglione, a senior at Lafayette, said: "You could see the looks on people's faces. It was truly heartbreaking. Again, you never know what to expect. In the snap of your fingers, something could be gone."

Fellow student Lexi Basler added: "We all just need to be aware of our surroundings, be very cautious now."

Cancun Quintana Roo
Aerial view of an almost empty beach in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, on March 28, 2020. A significant drop in the number of tourists has been registered in Mexico's resorts due to the coronavirus pandemic. ELIZABETH RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images

A State Department spokeswoman confirmed to KSN the death of a U.S. citizen near Cancun but declined to identify the deceased person.

She said U.S. officials were monitoring the investigation led by detectives in Cancun and awaited their conclusion as to the cause of death.

The State Department urges Americans to "exercise increased caution" in Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, saying criminal activity and violence, including homicide, occur throughout the state.

Guidance states that most homicides appear to be targeted; "however, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents."

There is no indication that this was the cause of the St. Louis woman's death.

The "increased caution" guidance is lower than the "reconsider travel" or "do not travel" warning that the State Department applies to areas predominantly in the north of the country, closer to the U.S. border.

Newsweek contacted the State Department for comment.