College student Abbey Conner died from drinking tainted alcohol while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico.
That’s what her distraught dad, Bill Conner, believes after reviewing the evidence gathered by his lawyer’s investigation into her shocking death at age 20.
What’s also alarming is that many other American tourists may also have died or been poisoned over the years by tainted, drugged alcohol in the Mexican resort towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
For Abbey, the tragedy unfolded in January 2017, when she, her brother, mom, and stepfather vacationed in Cancun. Shortly after arriving at the Iberostar Hotel & Resorts’ Paraiso del Mar hotel, Abbey and her brother Austin went for a swim in the hotel pool.
Hours later, Abbey was found face-down in the pool. She was pronounced brain-dead and taken off life support at a local hospital shortly afterward.
Her brother Austin also nearly died, and fell unconscious after taking a shot of alcohol. He said the last thing he remembered before waking up in the hospital was being offered a shot at the hotel pool.
Abbey’s cause of death was ruled “accidental,” but the suspicious circumstances surrounding it — coupled with numerous disturbing stories by other tourists —have fueled outrage.
The Conners’ attorney recently visited the five-star hotel the family had stayed at and discovered that “they serve alcoholic drinks with alcohol of bad quality and in great amounts, mixing different types of drinks,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Since then, investigators have uncovered numerous other instances of tourists reporting they got very sick or blacked out after drinking alcohol served at hotels managed by Iberostar, Secrets and Grand Oasis in Cancun and nearby Playa del Carmen. In some instances, the victims were robbed or sexually assaulted while unconscious.
Iberostar denied serving contaminated alcohol to its guests. “We work with a host of providers not unique to Iberostar who service other hotel chains and renowned brands,” it said in a statement. “Similarly, we only purchase sealed bottles that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities.”
Meanwhile, the suspicious pattern of alcohol-related injuries and deaths have raised concerns among tourists who visit Mexico.
Maureen Webster said her 22-year-old son, Nolan, also died in a pool at a Mexican hotel. She said the Mexican authorities and resorts always blame the victim for the deaths.
“Every single time, something bad happens, they blame the victim,” Webster told the Journal Sentinel. “They say, ‘They were drunk, they were drunk, they were drunk, they were drunk.’ Every single time.”
Witnesses said Nolan was not drunk when he died at the Grand Oasis pool in Cancun. Maureen Webster later sued the hotel and settled for an undisclosed amount.
Numerous other people recalled similar incidents where they or their family member got violently ill, blacked out, or died after drinking suspicious alcohol at these Mexican resorts.
Meanwhile, Abbey Conner’s tragic death has an poignant epilogue. She was an organ donor whose heart was transplanted into a 21-year-old man.
In June, her dad Bill Conner met the organ recipient, who presented him with a Father’s Day present: A stethoscope to hear the heartbeat and the gift of life Abbey made possible.
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