3 Americans found dead in Mexico City Airbnb; families seek answers
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (CORRUGATED) — After three Americans were found dead in an Airbnb in Mexico last month, their families are hoping for answers.
Jordan Marshall and Kandace Florence, who attended high school together in Virginia Beach, were vacationing in Mexico City with Marshall’s friend from New Orleans, Courtez Hall. The trio were there for the celebrations surrounding “Dia de Muertos», or Day of the Dead.
Kandace’s boyfriend Florence was on the phone with her the night of Oct. 30 when Florence began to fall ill, the family told Nexstar’s WAVY. She told him something was wrong. The two eventually got disconnected and he couldn’t get Florence back online. He then called the Airbnb host to do a wellness check, and authorities found Florence, Marshall, and Hall dead.
“Losing your child is one thing, but in a whole different country and having to maneuver language barriers and travel and try to bring your body home, it’s been a lot,” Marshall’s mother, Jennifer Marshall, told WAVY. .
Marshall, a teacher in New Orleans, and Florence, who started a candle business – Glo through it – in 2020, were both 28 years old. Florence would have been 29 on November 10. Hall was also a teacher in New Orleans.
The families of Marshall and Florence say they have been in contact with the US Embassy, working to bring the bodies of their loved ones home and find out exactly what happened to them.
Jennifer Marshall says they spent hours in a Mexico City police station waiting for an interpreter to show up. The US Embassy was also closed when they arrived and they were unable to enter the Airbnb to collect Jordan’s belongings.
“His wallet, his laptop, he took all those things with him and we just want them back.”
Airbnb told Marshall’s mother that their belongings were turned over to authorities while the incident was investigated.
Florence’s older brother, Chad, and sister-in-law, Amy Green, say they had a similar experience.
“We thought going to the embassy first would help us in that regard, but they didn’t have translators who could accompany us to the different places like the forensic office or the police station,” he said. Green.
WAVY contacted the US Embassy for comment on the investigation, but did not receive a response before publication. The embassy provided an outlet in New Orleans WDSU with this statement:
“We can confirm the deaths of three American citizens in Mexico. We are closely following the local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the families’ privacy, we have nothing further to add at this time.
Both families now say they hope no one else ever has to go through this.
“We should never have had to go through this type of leg work to realize that our baby died in a foreign country,” said Kelvin Florence, Kandace’s father. “No one even bothered to notify us – a letter, a phone call, nothing.”
“Now it’s just a game of waiting and hoping they’ll reach out to us,” Green said.
They see the challenge as an opportunity, as Kandace Florence says in one of the affirmations in her candle, to fight so that others don’t have to go through what they have gone through.
“She said don’t go through it, shine through it,” her mother Freida says. “We just shine through her candles, just knowing our healing is coming.”
The bodies of Marshall and Florence are expected to be airlifted to the United States in the coming days. The cause of death of the three Americans is still under investigation.
Marshall’s funeral is scheduled for Friday, according to his family.