A family is looking for answers after a 23-year-old woman from Dawson Creek, British Columbia was found dead in Mexico last week.
Kiara Agnew was vacationing in Mexico where she went to celebrate her birthday with her boyfriend Ryan Friesen 26, Katlyn Levesque, Kiara’s aunt told the Star.
“She has been counting down to this trip. It is shocking. We want to know what happened,” Levesque said.
“She was a beautiful, wonderful person inside and out. It’s unfair that she was robbed of her chance to experience life to the fullest.”
The couple arrived at the Grand Sunset Princess Resort in Playa del Carmen, south of Cancun, Mexico on March 2, Levesque said.
SSP Solidaridad said in a statement in Spanish that police from the Secretariat of Public Security took a man into custody after “a lifeless woman was found with possible marks of violence in a hotel located in the Xcalacoco neighbourhood.”
Meanwhile, Global Affairs acknowledged Agnew’s death and that Friesen had been detained in Mexico.
“Officials are providing consular assistance to the families and are in contact with local authorities,” said Global Affairs Spokesperson Charlotte MacLeod adding “no further information could be disclosed due to privacy considerations.”
The state prosecutor’s office in Quintana Roo tweeted that a foreign person was arrested in the death of a Canadian woman.
Levesque who lives in New Brunswick, heard the news Friday and said she has been in shock ever since.
“We are close in age, we were really close, we grew up together,” she said.
“We are still waiting on the autopsy results and it is an ongoing investigation so we do not want to speculate.”
Friesen’s family has been in touch with the Agnew family in the past few days and expressed their devastation, said Levesque. The Star was not able to reach the Friesen family.
“I know that they’re hurting too and confused. They want to find out what happened as much as everybody else.”
Friesen plays for the Dawson Creek Canucks and Agnew, worked at the Dawson Creek branch of Lake View Credit Union, Levesque said.
“All at Lake View Credit Union are mourning the loss of our teammate and friend, Kiara Agnew,” a Facebook post from the company read. “We send our love and faith to all others who have been impacted.”
The couple had been together for a year and a half and Kiara who was just days away from turning 24, had been counting down to the big trip since Christmas, Levesque said.
“Kiara loved travelling. She always wanted to see the Mayan ruins. That was part of their all-inclusive trip. She was really excited about it,” said Levesque.
Her last words to Agnew was to caution against dangers.
“The last thing I said to her was to be safe. You know, don’t wander around alone, be mindful of your surroundings. Then, I never heard from her.”
Agnew was originally from Plaster Rock, N.B but moved to Dawson Creek with her mother when she was a teenager.
A fundraising campaign has been set up to raise money to bring Kiara’s body back to Canada.
“The goal is to bring her home as fast as we can. We want her story to be shared and we want to bring justice for her because that’s what she deserves,” said her aunt.
There have been over 20 incidents where a Canadian has been killed in Mexico since 2006, some of them in the same area.
Two Canadians from the GTA were killed and one was injured last January in a shooting at a hotel south of Playa del Carmen in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
In 2012, Lynne Earle, 60, a retired West Vancouver police officer, was stabbed to death in Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun.
In 2016, Canadian Lori Archambault, 46, was found dead in the same area. Her body was left dismembered inside a suitcases. She had lived in the area for 11 years.
Five people died, including Toronto bouncer Kirk Wilson, 49, and 15 more including two Canadians were injured in a deadly shooting at an electronic music festival in Playa del Carmen in 2017.
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