FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas couple died in Fiji after coming down with an unknown illness, according to members of their family.
USA Today reported that David and Michelle Paul were on vacation at Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, about 1,600 miles north of New Zealand. They left their home in Fort Worth, Texas, to go to the island on May 22. The couple’s family was expecting their return to their 2-year-old son and David Paul’s daughter from a previous relationship when they got a phone call.
“They knew something was going on in their body and were able to get to the hospital,” Michelle Paul’s sister-in-law, Tracey Calanog, told WFAA.
Relatives believe the couple died from some type of viral illness, USA Today reported.
The couple was taken to a local hospital with severe symptoms, where they died several days later and days apart, according to “Today.”
Michelle's father, Marc Calanog, told “Today” that his daughter contacted him one day before they were about to come home to say she and her husband got sick and were going to a local clinic.
The exact cause of death is still not known, but WFAA reported that island authorities confirmed an illness is a factor, according to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.
“Nobody’s telling me what was the cause of the death, and that’s very hard for me,” Marc Calanog told “Today.”
Marc Calanog said the couple’s bodies will not be returned until a cause of death is determined. If the cause is found to be an infectious disease, their bodies will be cremated.
Local authorities in Fiji are investigating, ABC News reported.
“We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death,” a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said in a statement to NBC News. “We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
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