Mystery surrounds the deaths of two American women found dead while vacationing in the Seychelles this week.
Annie Korkki, 37, of Denver, and Robin Korkki, 42, of Chicago, were found unresponsive in their room at the Maia Luxury Resort and Spa on Sept. 22 on the western side of the main island of the Seychelles, an archipelago of islands off the east coast of Africa, according to the Associated Press.
According to an autopsy report, the Korkki sisters died from acute pulmonary edema or fluid in their lungs, The Seychelles News Agency reported Friday. Annie Marie also suffered cerebral edema.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 1, 2016
According to the Mayo Clinic, acute pulmonary edema is often related to heart problems. Other causes include pneumonia and exposure to some toxins and or medications.
Patrick Lank, a Northwestern Medicine assistant professor of emergency medicine in Chicago, told the AP that emergency rooms commonly see it in drug overdoses, adding that it might also come from a viral infection.
“Two people at the same time is odd. It suggests more of a toxicologic or environmental cause, or a potential infection if they’re traveling together.”
It is extremely unlikely that both sisters were suffering from a heart condition, which has prompted police to collect “various specimens” from the sisters’ room.
Local authorities are currently investigating the incident with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius, according to The Seychelles News Agency.
The Korkki sisters’ brother, Chris Korkki of Lakeville, Minnesota, told KARE-TV that the family knows very little at this point.
“It’s all very surreal. We don’t know very much. Our family is still very much in shock. We’re devastated.”
— The Voice Gh (@TheVoicegh) October 1, 2016
Korkki reiterated just how little the family knew about his sisters’ deaths in an interview with The Minneapolis Star.
“At this point, the only details we know are the articles flying around online. My mom has been talking with people from the U.S. Embassy. I don’t think they’ve provided her with any information.”
“Two things keep going through my mind: This isn’t happening, and we just want answers.”
According to the autopsy conducted by a forensic pathologist in the neighboring Indian Ocean island of Mauritius on Wednesday, there was no sign of violence or injuries on either woman.
In an interview with local newspaper Seychelles Nation, Seychelles police spokesman Jean Toussaint said the women were seen drinking throughout the day and had to be helped back to their room.
“What the police can say about the investigation so far is that the two sisters were consuming alcohol throughout the day and the last time they were seen drinking alcohol was at around quarter to seven and they were helped to their bedroom by hotel personnel at around 8:15 p.m.”
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 1, 2016
According to an itinerary found at the Maia hotel, the Korkki sisters had been touring Africa since Sept. 1. Before arriving at the Seychelles on Sept. 16, the Korkki sisters visited Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Chris Korkki said family members were traveling to the island to learn more about the sisters’ deaths and bring their bodies back to the U.S., the AP reported.
He told the AP that the women were adventurous and traveled often.
“They were frequent travelers both domestically and internationally. They were kind and generous and compassionate and were wonderful people that had a positive impact on a huge number of people.”
[Featured Image by Annie Korkki/Facebook]