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Death of Canadian Sisters Said to be Food Poisoning



Passport photos of Audrey and Noemi Belanger


Chiangrai Times – Two Canadian sisters found dead in their hotel room on a popular Thai resort island may have been the victims of “serious food poisoning”, police said on Sunday.

The bodies of Audrey and Noemi Belanger, aged 20 and 26, were found Friday by hotel staff on Phi Phi island in the Andaman Sea, 800 kilometres (500 miles) south of Bangkok, showings signs of having suffered an extreme toxic reaction.

“Forensic officials found vomit in the room, blood on their lips and gums and their fingernails and toenails were blue,” lieutenant colonel Rat Somboon of Krabi Provincial Police said, adding there were “signs of serious food poisoning.”

“They died more than 12 hours before being found. They had eaten meals outside the hotel,” he said.

The bodies of the sisters, who were from Canada’s French-speaking Quebec province, were taken from Phi Phi to the nearby town of Krabi on Thailand’s Andaman seaboard, where a probe into the cause of the deaths was underway, he added.

Pol Lt Pongpan Waiyawat of Phi Phi station said more details would be released “once there is some progress”, adding there was no indication of a violent struggle inside their room at the Palm Residence Hotel.

He said there was no sign of a homicide, noting that the door had been chained from the inside and the women’s belongings were still there.

Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman John Babcock confirmed that two Canadian citizens had died in Thailand, but did not provide further details. He said Canadian consular officials in Bangkok were providing assistance to the family and were in contact with local authorities.

American Jill St Onge, 27, and Norwegian Julie Michelle Bergheim,

May 2009, American Jill St Onge, 27, and Norwegian Julie Michelle Bergheim, 22, died in similar circumstances while staying in adjoining rooms at the Laleena guesthouse.

3 May 2009 – Jill St. Onge (27, female, USA Seattle) had die at Phi Phi hospital around 8am on Sunday. Her fiancee Ryan Kells send her to hospital after found out she is terribly sick in a room where they stay at Laleena Guesthouse on Phi Phi Island. Ryan mentioned most of the time she was in the room while he went out hanging around, and he can smell there is some sort of stove gas type of smell in the room, they both difficult to breath, vomiting, stomach ache, feeling weak and low blood pressure in that 2 days but Jill was more serious. So he believe her dead might relate to gas poisoning from the air-cond. Robert St. Onge (Julie’s brother) said his sister’s lung tissue was completely gone, and there’s no explanation from the Thailand Government.

4 May 2009 – Julie Michelle Bergheim (22, female, Norway) die around 1.30am, she is staying in the same Laleena Guesthouse with Jill St. Onge. Julie and her 19 years old female travel companion both sick and having the same symptom as Jill, both send to hospital, unfortunately Julie had deceased and her friend is recovering. Autopsy report said found cyanide in her stomach.

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