Iowa family found dead in Mexico inhaled toxic gas, autopsies reveal

An Iowa family found dead in a vacation condo in Mexico died from inhaling toxic gas, but there was no sign of foul play or suicide, Mexican authorities told Saturday.

The type of gas hadn’t yet been determined, but “any violent act or suicide has been discounted, ” the prosecutors’ office in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said.

The office said investigators “carried out a physical investigation of the gas connects in the room, ” and the civil defense office of Tulum would issue a technical report on the findings.

“Any violent act or suicide has been discounted.”

– Prosecutors’ office, Mexican state of Quintana Roo

Photos released by the office depicted examiners in anti-contamination suits and firefighters with air tanks investigating gas connections to a stove in the condo in Tulum.

The office said investigators “carried out a physical investigation of the gas connections in the room, ” and the civil defense office of Tulum would issue a technological report on the findings.

A spokeswoman for the office of Iowa state Attorney General Tom Miller would not comment on whether the owner of the condo could face legal consequences in connection with the deaths, Reuters reported.

In November 2010, the explosion of an improperly installed gas line at a hotel in the nearby township of Playa del Carmen killed five Canadian tourists and two Mexicans.

A Mexican judge dismissed charges in that case in August 2011.

Iowa officials identified the family as Kevin Sharp, 41; his wife, Amy Sharp, 38, and their children Sterling, 12, and Adrianna, 7. They were from Creston, Iowa.

The family was reported missing by relatives in their hometown about a week after the family left for vacation. Creston police contacted the U.S. State Department, and the bodies were found during a welfare check at the condo in Tulum, on the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Quintana Roo prosecutors’ office said the family had been dead for between 36 and 48 hours by the time they were found Friday at the Tao condominium complex.

Contacted Friday, the developer of the condo complex where the deaths passed declined to comment.

The Creston News Advertiser newspaper in Iowa reported that the family flew to Cancun on March 14. According to her sister, Amy Sharp texted their mother the next day to say they had reached Tulum, but relatives didn’t hear any more from the family.

The sister, Renee Hoyt, said the Sharps were scheduled to return to the U.S. this week. They were scheduled to depart from the Cancun airport on Wednesday and fly to St. Louis on a non-stop flight. The family had planned to then drive about 200 miles( 322 kilometers) to Danville, Illinois, to watch a basketball game Thursday, Hoyt said.

When the family didn’t arrive in St. Louis, family members contacted authorities, she said.

More than 300 people attended a candelight vigil for the Sharp family on Saturday night at the Adams County Speedway in Corning, the Creston News Advertiser reported.

Another candlelight vigil was planned for 7 p. m. Sunday in Creston at VFW Field on Highway 34, research reports said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story .

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