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A trio of friends visiting Mexico City to celebrate the Day of the Dead were found dead in their Airbnb, officials and their families said on Wednesday.
Kandace Florence, 28, and Jordan Marshall, 28, both of Virginia Beach, Virginia, were staying at an Airbnb they were renting along with Marshall’s friend, Courtez Hall, of New Orleans, their families told NBC News and NBC affiliate WAVY.
The group had traveled to Mexico City for Día de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated throughout the country on Nov. 1 and 2, their relatives said.
Florence had been on a phone call with her boyfriend on Oct. 30 when she told him she started feeling sick, according to WAVY. The call dropped suddenly and he was unable to reach her, so he contacted the Airbnb host and asked them to check on the group, WAVY reported.
When authorities arrived at the residence, Florence, Marshall and Hall were dead, WAVY reported. An official cause of death is still under investigation, according to NBC News.
The Mexico City attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
The State Department confirmed the death of three U.S. citizens in Mexico in a statement to TODAY.
“We continue to monitor the Mexican authorities’ investigation into the death of three U.S. citizens and await public announcement of their official findings,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We continue to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families. Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we have nothing further to add at this time.”
Jennifer Marshall, Jordan Marshall’s mother, told NBC News the lack of response from the U.S. Embassy has been “pretty disheartening.”
“It’s just very disheartening that we’ve had to piece together, as to the demise of our son, based on social media reports, based on investigative journalists, but this is where we are at this point,” she said.
She said her son was a 12th-grade English teacher at Rosenwald Collegiate High School in New Orleans and that he loved to travel. “In his short 28 years, we can draw comfort from the fact he did travel and he did live a very, very full life,” she said.
She added that as a parent, she worried about him traveling, but he usually traveled with groups of friends and she would tell him to stay together and stay vigilant.
“But we never tried to deter our son from living his best life and experiencing other cultures,” she continued. “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.”
Hall was a seventh-grade history teacher at KIPP Morial School in New Orleans, his mother told NBC affiliate WDSU. Florence had started a candle company called “Glo Through It” in 2018 and would have turned 29 on Nov. 9, her mother, Freida Florence, told WAVY.
Airbnb said it had removed the listing and canceled all upcoming reservations at the residence the trio had rented as it investigates the incident.
“This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones as they grieve such an unimaginable loss,” an Airbnb spokesperson said in a statement to TODAY. “Our priority right now is supporting those impacted as the authorities investigate what happened, and we stand ready to assist with their inquiries however we can.”
WAVY reported the bodies of Florence, Marshall and Hall are expected to be flown back to the U.S. in the next few days.
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