Authorities in Mexico announced Saturday that a family of four from Creston, Iowa found dead in Akumal, Mexico died from inhalation of toxic gases, the state’s prosecutor’s office stated on Twitter. The gases that killed them came from a faulty water heater.
Kevin, 41, Amy, 38, and their children, Sterling, 12, and Adrianna, 7, were found dead Friday inside of a condo in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
The family had been dead for approximately 36 to 48 hours before their bodies were discovered, according to authorities.
The water heater “was letting gas escape, perhaps because of lack of maintenance, perhaps because it was in use, perhaps because of the age of the equipment,” Quintana Roo Prosecutor Miguel Angel Pech told local media Monday.
“In fact a high concentration of this toxic [gas] was found in the room,” Pech said.
It is not yet known the type of gas that killed the beloved family, though authorities hope to have an answer within 10 days.
At the time of their death the family of four had been vacationing in Akumal, located on the Yucatan Peninsula.
In social media posts, family members stated the Sharps had arrived safely at the condominium on March 15, and were due to come home March 21. They were reported missing with the Creston Police Department at about noon Friday. The department then made contact with the U.S. State Department who made a welfare check and discovered the four bodies.
Ashli Peterson initially posted to Facebook, in part:
Kevin, Amy, Sterling, and Adrianna Sharp left the United States on March 15, 2018 on a destination to Tulum, Mexico. On Wednesday, March 21st they were to board a plane from Cancun, Mexico at 2:45pm and arrive in St. Louis, Mo at 6:00pm March 21st. They were to arrive at the SWCC basketball game today (March 22nd) in Danville, IL . There has still not been any contact from them. They have not been in contact with family or friends since LAST Thursday night after reporting that they made it to their condo safely. We are extremely worried and hope they are found soon or can contact their family. We have filed a missing persons report through the US Embassy in Mexico already. We have also pinged cells phones and show that they are still in Mexico with no movement on their phones. Social media is also inactive. We as a family are trying to stay proactive. If you have any information (last contacted, resources, or ANYTHING!) contact the family ASAP! Thank you for your help! #Tulummexico#missingpersons
Many took to social media to offer condolences and to remember the beautiful family, with some warning travelers to stay out of Mexico.
“Rip to the sharp family,” @nanceexx8 tweeted. “No-one should die going to mexico for vacation ?? such a ugly world we live in.”
“I wouldn’t believe any “authorities” in Mexico because this hurts tourism. Expect total coverup,” @SATSuzanne wrote. “Tragic! RIP Sharp Family.”
“Time and time again we are reminded that life is an extremely precious thing that can change in the blink of an eye,” Zachary Hoffman, a Creston High School alumni member, tweeted. “Give every single second of every single day everything it’s worth. Rest In Peace, Sharp Family. ❤️”
Suzan Kiršić posted to Facebook:
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Sharp family and their friends and family.
A Beautiful family, such a sad story, I am heartbroken for them.
My Sincere Condolences and May you all Rest In Peace.
In 2010, an improperly installed gas line was determined to be the cause of an explosion which killed five Canadian tourists as well as two Mexicans in the neighboring town of Playa del Carmen.