Three Americans were found dead at an Airbnb in Mexico City for a trip to celebrate the Day of the Dead, authorities and family said Wednesday.
Kandace Florence, 28, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was staying with high school friend Jordan Marshall, 28, also of Virginia Beach, along with Marshall’s friend Courtez Hall, relatives told NBC News and NBC affiliate WAVY of Portsmouth, Virginia.
Investigators believe the trio died from carbon monoxide poisoning, Mexico City prosecutors said.
Marshall, a 12th grade English teacher at Rosenwald Collegiate High School in New Orleans, loved to travel, said his mother, Jennifer Marshall.
“In his short 28 years, we can draw comfort from the fact he did travel and he did live a very, very full life,” she said Wednesday.
The trio had been in the city to mark Día de los Muertos, a celebration traditionally held on Nov. 1 and 2 to honor the dead, their relatives have said.
Florence told her boyfriend by phone Oct. 30 that she wasn’t feeling well, WAVY reported. At some point, the call dropped and Florence’s boyfriend was unable to reach her again, so he contacted the Airbnb host and asked for a checkup on the group, the station reported.
Authorities found all three dead, WAVY reported. An official cause of death is under investigation.
The Mexico City attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for an update.
The State Department confirmed the deaths.
“We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance,” it said in a statement.
Airbnb said it has suspended the listing and canceled coming reservations as it investigates. It said it has been in touch with the Airbnb host and is providing support. It said it was also in touch with the U.S. Embassy.
“Our priority right now is supporting those impacted as the authorities investigate what happened, and we stand ready to assist with their inquiries however we can,” the statement said.
Florence’s mother, Freida Florence, told WAVY her daughter started a candle business called Glo Through It in 2020, with each candle featuring an affirmation.
“She was a dreamer, ‘dreamer’ meaning she wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people,” she said.
Jennifer Marshall said she had normal worries about her son’s love of travel but never did anything to discourage it.
“Of course you worry as a parent. But he usually traveled with groups of friends, and we would tell him there’s safety in numbers, stay together, stay vigilant,” his mother said.
“But we never tried to deter our son from living his best life and experiencing other cultures. He loved history, he loved to learn about the cuisine and culture and the people of other places. So I never wanted him to live in fear and not to experience life because of things that could happen.”
Ceola Hall, Courtez Hall’s mother, told NBC affiliate WDSU of New Orleans that her son was a teacher at the city’s KIPP Morial School.
Describing her son as a “joyous child,” she said: “He loved me, he loved his family. He loved to make everyone laugh.”