Autopsies show sisters found dead in Seychelles had excess water in lungs: police – The Denver Post
VICTORIA, Seychelles — Two American sisters found dead in their tropical island villa while vacationing in Seychelles died of excess fluid in their lungs, according to police in the African archipelago nation.
Annie Marie Korkki, 37, and Robin Marie Korkki, 42, were found motionless in the bed of their villa last week by hotel staff at the Maia resort on Mahe, Seychelles’ main island. Police spokesperson Jean Toussaint told local media that the women were seen drinking and were helped to their room by hotel personnel the night before they were found dead.
Autopsies conducted Wednesday determined the Minnesota natives died from acute pulmonary edema, or having fluid in their lungs, according to a police report obtained by Minnesota television station KARE. Cerebral edema, or fluid in the brain, was also cited in Annie Korkki’s death.
The report also said no visible signs of injuries were found.
Police said the autopsies were conducted by a forensic pathologist in the neighboring Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. The investigation is ongoing and toxicology tests are pending, police said.
Many things can cause acute pulmonary edema and cerebral edema, said Dr. Patrick Lank, a Northwestern Medicine assistant professor of emergency medicine in Chicago. Emergency rooms commonly see it in drug overdoses, he said, but it might also come from a viral infection.
“Two people at the same time is odd,” Lank said. “It suggests more of a toxicologic or environmental cause, or a potential infection if they’re traveling together.”
An itinerary found at the Maia hotel indicated the sisters had been touring Africa since Sept. 1, and that they had visited Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar before arriving in Seychelles on Sept. 16. Annie Korkki lived in Denver and worked for JPMorgan, while Robin Korkki lived in Chicago. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment to The Denver Post, citing the ongoing investigation, but said “our thoughts are with her family.”
Their brother, Chris Korkki of Lakeville, Minnesota, told The Associated Press on Thursday that his sisters were adventurous women who wanted to experience life to the fullest.
“They were frequent travelers both domestically and internationally,” he said. “They were kind and generous and compassionate, and were wonderful people that had a positive impact on a huge number of people.”
He didn’t immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment Friday.
Annie Korkki was also a member of the Denver Synchronicity figure skating team.
“Annie just had a really incredible spirit and she was a very loving and friendly woman,” said Caitlin Cattelino, the masters team coach. “She had just recently joined the skating team and really just became a member of this family instantly. She had an ability to make people laugh and just bring smiles to people’s faces.”
Both were Minnesota natives. Annie Korrki grew up skating in Minnesota, and her mother is a local figure skating judge in Colorado. “I think we will just really miss her this season,” Cattelino said. “She really brought a lot to the team. She had a great personality, a great attitude.”
A spokesman for Seychelles police was unavailable for comment Friday. The Maia hotel released a statement confirming the sisters were found by a hotel employee who tried to wake them. The statement said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends.”
This is a developing story and will be updated. Denver Post reporter Jesse Paul contributed to this report.