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Jill Sheree St. Onge with boyfriend Ryan Kells

Phi Phi Deaths: No Word on What Killed Women

Thursday, May 7, 2009
THE MYSTERIOUS deaths of two tourists on Phi Phi led to several processes of investigation and widening ripples of interest around the world today.

The bodies of Norwegian Julie Michelle Bergheim, 22, from Drammen, and American Jill Sheree St. Onge, 27, from Seattle, are now in Bangkok where autopsies are to be conducted at Siriraj Hospital.

However, police told Phuketwan today that results from the tests could take up to a month.

The women occupied adjoining rooms at the same Phi Phi bungalow guesthouse.

Until it is known what caused the deaths, the tourist industry on and around Phi Phi will be kept in suspense.

Speculation about what killed the two young women at the weekend continued to be the main item of conversation among locals on the island today, as tourists took day-trips and went diving as usual.

Phuketwan reporter Chutima Sidasathian caught a ferry to the island this morning from Phuket and hopes to find out more about the deaths.

As well as the Bangkok investigation, a specialist epidemiologist is believed to be trying to find out on Phi Phi exactly what killed the women.

But as talk about the tragedy develops its own momentum in the online world, rumors are springing up.

Phuketwan today spoke to a doctor who discounted any link between the death on Phi Phi last month of a 46-year-old Norwegian man and the deaths of the two women.

Dr Buncha Khakong, of the Public Health Department in Krabi, said the man died of food poisoning and was already ill when he arrived on Phi Phi from Phuket last month.

The man was not staying in the same guesthouse, as the rumor had it, Dr Buncha said.

As for the deaths of the two women, Dr Buncha said that separate to the autopsies, he had sent the contents of one victim's stomach to mainland Krabi where the sample will be studied by specialist doctors.

He discounted two theories about the deaths, saying that no cyanide had been found in either the bodies to date, adding that if something in the air conditioning had killed the women, their symptoms would have been different.

Dr Buncha is still inclined to believe that something the women drank probably was the cause of their deaths.

Phuketwan was told yesterday that the Norwegian woman was the first victim but we have now established that, according to nurses at the local hospital, Miss St Onge suffered a vomiting attack and died suddenly at 8.40am on Sunday morning.

Miss Bergheim also fell ill on Sunday with similar symptoms, and died at 1.30am on Monday, a spokesperson at Phi Phi Hospital told our reporter today.

A 19-year-old Norwegian woman travelling with Miss Bergheim suffered similar symptoms.

She was treated on Phi Phi, and then briefly at BangkokHospital Phuket, then discharged.

Tourists were catching the ferries to Phi Phi from Phuket as usual this morning.

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Update A case of apparent poisoning on Phi Phi has left two young women dead, a Norwegian and an American. A third tourist, a Norwegian teenager, survived after being treated at a local hospital.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


i came across the article about the mysterious deaths in phi phi that i cut out and thought that they had solved the mystery online already. i did not find anything new so i did some research. i found out that Thailand has had some cholera problems and phuket is very close to phi phi island. phuket has had the worst out breaks out of Thailand. in fact you can take a plane or boat ride from phuket to phi phi island. so my guess is the travelers caught cholera by drinking unclean water that had cholera in it. its possible that Laleena guesthouse did not have a water filtration system or they drank unclean water elsewhere. i think they new what it was when they did the autopsy and did not want to alarm people so they called it a mystery instead. this is just a big guess of mine but with all the facts this is the only conclusion.

Posted by Ranmaru on February 22, 2010 15:08

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