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The ferries to Phi Phi from Phuket seem as popular as always

Phi Phi Deaths Riddle Latest: Canadian Sisters Autopsied, Results 'in Two Weeks'

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
PHUKET: Autopsies have been performed on two Canadian sisters who died in mysterious circumstances on the holiday island of Phi Phi last week, according to a Thai government news agency.

Results could be known in two weeks, the report said.

According to MCOT.net, the examination of the bodies of Audrey and Noemi Belanger took place at the Forensics Department of Bangkok's Ramathibodi Hospital yesterday.

Audrey, 20, and Noemi, 26, were found dead from unknown causes in their room at the Palms Residence Phi Phi on Friday.

Police chief General Wicharn Priewnim is quoted by MCOT as saying that the autopsies took three hours, with samples of tissue and blood being taken.

He said the bodies were now available to the family ''for religious ceremonies.''

Canadian Embassy officials have not revealed how closely they are involved with the postmortem process.

It was reported in one national newspaper today that the embassy asked for the autopsies to be performed at Ramathibodi Hospital rather than at the Police General Hospital's Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Today's MCOT report adds that police investigating the case on Phi Phi found no evidence of murder, but personal items and ''Ibuprofen tablets of 400 grammes'' were found.

The small, beautiful island of Phi Phi about 100 minutes by ferry from Phuket has a reputation as a popular destination for 20-somethings, with the appealing diving and snorkelling of day trips being replaced at night by a vibrant party atmosphere.

In 2009, two young women died on Phi Phi in similar circumstances. No cause has ever been determined for their deaths, which has intensified interest in the case of the Belanger sisters.

American Jill St Onge, 27, and Norwegian Julie Bergheim, 22, were staying in adjoining rooms at Laleena guesthouse on Phi Phi when they both fell ill and died within hours.

Ryan Kells, Miss St Onge's finance, later told of being rapidly ''pushed off'' Phi Phi in a speedboat with the body of his girlfriend in the bottom of the boat.

While Ms St Onge was cremated, the body of Julie Bergheim was returned to Norway where leading pathologists conducted a second autopsy. Like the first autopsy conducted in Thailand, no cause of death could be determined.

Last year, the mysterious deaths of New Zealander Sarah Carter, 23, and four others left a similar mystery in the northern Thailand holiday city of Chiang Mai, with no formal cause of death established.

Officials in Thailand are concerned that failure to determine the cause of death in the case of the Belanger sisters could seriously affect tourism.

Various theories have been put forward about what might have killed the sisters, who appeared to have suffered a violent reaction to some kind of toxic substance.

Doctors have suggested that there is not enough evidence to support any of the theories, and that only the autopsies can provide answers.

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