Autopsies on two American sisters at a tropical island resort in Africa show that the women died from a buildup of fluid in their lungs and brains, authorities said Friday.
The medical reports on Robin Korkki, 42, and Anne Korkki, 37, did not answer the key question of how they died, but toxicology tests were still being performed, officials said.
Police spokesman Jean Toussaint told NBC News that the sisters’ official cause of death was “acute pulmonary edema” and “acute pulmonary and cerebral edema.”
Pulmonary edema is typically caused by heart problems brought on by pneumonia, exposure to certain toxins and medications, trauma to the chest wall and exercising or living at high elevations, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website. It can affect any part of the body, including the brain.
Their bodies were discovered on Sept. 22 inside their $1,800 per night villa at the Maia Luxury Resort and Spa on the East African island of Seychelles, officials said.
The successful Minnesota-born siblings worked in the financial sector; Annie had a job with JP Morgan Chase in Denver and Robin was an executive for Allston Trading in Chicago, according to social media.
In the 24 hours leading up to their deaths, the pair had been guzzling booze and were so drunk, they needed to be assisted back to their room by resort personnel, the Seychelles Nation newspaper said.
The staff helped them into bed and left the room around 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 21. It was the last time anyone saw them alive, the paper reported.
The next day, their personal butler notified a supervisor after he became concerned that the room – which was locked — was unusually quiet. Hotel management then contacted police.
The sisters were found on the same bed with no visible signs of trauma to their bodies.
Police said their villa had not been ransacked.
The two had been on vacation for a week, beginning on Sept. 15, when tragedy struck. They were supposed to return to the states on Sept. 22 – the day their bodies were found — but decided to extend their stay by two days.
They posted several Facebook photos documenting their time on the beautiful island, including one showing the stunning views from their villa with Annie writing a caption that read, “The best place ever.”
Their brother, Chris Korkki, who lives in Minnesota, told local TV station KMSP, “The family is in shock. Everyone is trying to understand and come to terms with what happened.”
Chris also told the Star Tribune that his mother and brother had flown to Seychelles to press police officials for answers.