Parents know their children better than kids even know themselves. They know what their child is capable of and what their child is not because they’ve been there every step of the way since day one.
So when one Wisconsin mother saw that her 20-year-old daughter’s death certificate said she had died of an “accidental drowning,” she knew immediately that something had been covered up…
Vacation To Mexico
In the beginning of 2017, the family of four from Pewaukee, Wisconsin, decided to take a family vacation to a 5-star resort in Mexico to escape the freezing, snowy weather back home and celebrate the end of the kids’ first semester of college.
The Vacation Begins
Shortly after 20-year-old Abbey Conner arrived to the resort in Playa del Carmen with her brother Austin, her mother Ginny, and her stepfather John McGowan, they all dropped their stuff off at the family’s first-floor room and unpacked…
Exploring The Resort
Abbey and 23-year-old Austin decided to go for a swim at the resort’s pool while Ginny and John took a walk on the beach. While the siblings were at the pool, they decided to celebrate surviving another finals week with a shot of tequila.
A little bit later, Ginny and John met the kids by the pool and ordered drinks while Abbey and Austin swam in the pool. At around 5:30 p.m., the kids’ parents went back to the hotel room to rest and get ready for dinner. The plan was to meet for dinner in an hour and a half…
When it was 7:00 p.m., Ginny and John went to the lobby where they previously planned to meet up to head out for dinner. But when the kids failed to show up about 15 minutes later, the couple asked the front desk to call their hotel room.
When Ginny and John explained they were looking for their kids, the woman at the desk frantically searched for the resort’s manager, who explained that there had been an accident and the kids were no longer on the resort’s property…
Abbey and Austin had never made it to dinner because they had been rushed to the Hospiten Riviera Maya medical center, which was about 14 miles away. According to the resort’s staff, the kids had been found face down and unresponsive in the pool.
Ginny and John rushed straight to the hospital. By the time they arrived, they found Austin with a lump on his head that was about the size of a golf ball. Thankfully, doctors managed to stabilize Austin. Abbey, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky as her brother…
By the time Ginny and John got to the hospital, Abbey was in a coma and on a ventilator. Doctors explained that she had a broken collarbone and had suffered an anoxic brain injury and Cerebral edema, which meant the brain had been starved of oxygen and was severely swollen.
When Austin was conscious, he explained that he had no memory of what happened after they had a few drinks by the pool. “’We swam around for a little bit and decided to celebrate with a drink,’ said Austin. “So we go up to the bar, and another group that was already there start talking…we didn’t know them…”
“The bartender pours out a line of shots, and I take one, and everyone else does,” Austin said about his memories of that day. “And the last thing I remember was like we are right now, sitting here talking, and lights went out. And I woke up in the ambulance.”
Meanwhile, Abbey was transferred to a bigger hospital in Cancun before being flown to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and admitted to the Broward Health Medical Center. Once doctors examined Abbey, however, they realized there wasn’t much they could do…
Doctors told Ginny and John that Abbey was brain-dead. At first, the family refused to accept the prognosis and hoped for a miracle.But after they processed the news, it was clear Abbey was never going to wake up and the family took her off life support on January 12.
The Toxicology Report
A toxicology report noted that Abbey had a blood alcohol level of 0.25 and Austin’s was at 0.26 by the time they were admitted to the local hospital. Since that day, Austin can’t help but think that a few things just don’t add up about what happened…
Something Doesn’t Add Up
“I’ve been in college for five years and had my fair share of drinks before,” said Austin, who was a senior in college at the time. “No way in hell I’m putting my face down in a pool and going to sleep.” And that wasn’t the only thing that seemed suspicious.
“I’ve thought about it and I mean, it is a possibility,” Austin said when asked if they possibly just drank too much alcohol. “But how if we’re in a group of people do two people at the same exact time just pass out in the pool and no one sees it…”
The Death Certificate
When Abbey’s family saw that her death certificate said the 20-year-old had died from an “accidental drowning,” they knew it wasn’t true. Abbey had been swimming her entire life so the only explanation was that something was wrong with the alcohol she had been served.
The Iberostar Hotels and Resorts denied that their alcohol had anything to do with Abbey’s death. “We only purchase sealed bottles that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities…We are deeply saddened by this incident and reiterate our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family,” the resort chain said…
Ginny was furious her daughter’s death was being swept under the rug, but finally got closure when Mexican authorities shut down the bar at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya where Abbey and Austin were drinking for selling bootleg alcohol.
“There is obviously stuff going on that needs to be cleaned up and looked into further,” Ginny said. “They need to investigate and interview employees. This makes sense. This needs to happen.” In an effort to ensure the safety of tourists like Abbey, Mexican authorities have started confiscating harmful alcohol and closing the bars serving it.