Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Mysterious Tourist Deaths in Vietnam and Thailand Probe for Poison Investigation [SEE VIDEO]

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Sep 13, 2012 04:33 PM EDT

Text Size: A A A

Nha Trang
Nha Trang is the beach city in Vietnam where Cathy Huynh and Karin Bowerman mysteriously passed away.(Photo : Flickr)

Two young women were backpacking in Vietnam together while on break from their jobs in South Korea where they were teaching English. Karin Bowerman, 27, and Cathy Huynh, 26, during what was supposed to be a fun-filled adventure in Vietnam were admitted to Khanh Hoa General Hospital in the beach town of Nha Trang. Both young women were having trouble breathing and were vomiting.

Huynh was released from the hospital initially but Bowerman passed away just three hours after being admitted due to respiratory failure. Two days later, Huynh passed away.

Share This Story

Authorities still don't know the true cause of their deaths. World Health Organization suspects poison is to blame but finding where the poison came from has proven difficult.

Bowerman and Huynh's deaths are two of a few different mysterious deaths that have occurred in South East Asia. International media linked these deaths to an incident in Thailand in June, where two Canadian sisters passed away. Noemi and Audrey Belanger, 25, and 20, were found dead in their hotel room covered in vomit. In Feburary 2011, New Zealander Sarah Carter, 23, died in Chiang Mai, Thailand after being admitted into a hospital for similar symptoms as Bowerman and Huynh.

Bowerman's items were shipped back to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where she grew up and fundraisers helped the more than $10,000 worth of costs the family had to pay to get her cremated body back to Wisconsin.

Huynh from Hamilton, Ontario was a seasoned traveler. Her high school friend Jetty Ly told CNN, "I encouraged her to follow her dreams, go where her heart wants to go. I wanted to live vicariously through her adventures. But not like this."

There have been no firm answers to what caused the death of these girls and the young travelers before them. According to CNN In 2011 TV3 went to Chiang Mai, Thailand to investigate the death of Sarah Carter. Show producers talked to Dr. Ron McDowall a United Nations toxic chemical consultant, who looked at Carter's pathology reports and he beliebed that she died of pesticide ingestion.

CNN reported that traces of chlorpyrifos were found in the Downtown Inn. Chlorpyrifos can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and in high levels, respitory paralysis and death. The chemical is banned in the U.S for use in hotels and homes but is still legal in Thailand and Vietnam.

However, even if Chlorpyrifos is the culprit, it is extremely hard to verify. It passes in about one day so it is difficult to identify. Vietnamese authorities have released limited information about the young girls and their untimely deaths.

Autopsy results come back in a few weeks times which means they could have more answers.

On a tribute to the girls on the Groove Korea website, friends have poured in with comments about the two. A friend of Bowerman

Deanne Colbert said on the website, "Any time it came to doing something new, I can hear her say so clearly, 'I'm not afraid' (from a popular Eminem song). She was such a strong woman, the most amazing friend anyone could ever have. I speak for all our friends in saying that our hearts are truly broken for the loss of our lovely Kari. We will never forget! Saranghae forever Kari!"

Sophia Hoang said of Cathy Huynh on the Groove Korea website, "Cathy was always full of life, love and joy. Just her smile and the sound of her laughter alone would enlighten any room. She is unquestionably the definition of a forever friend; always there to listen, to laugh with, to enjoy the simplest things in life with. Forever friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and never forgotten. Cathy will never be forgotten and will remain forever in our hearts." 

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Goblin Shark, Alien of the Deep Found

Viral Video: Goblin Shark, Alien of the Deep Found In Australia, Are There More Out In Ocean?

Viral Video - Goblin Shark, Alien of the Deep. The latest discovery off the coast of Australia has given anyone more reasons not to venture into the deep blue sea. Ocean scientists have discovered an “Alien of the Deep.” What exactly is this new discovery and are there many more out there?

California Droughts To Increase With Human-Caused Global Warming, Says Stanford Study

California Drought Climate Change: California Droughts To Increase With Human-Caused Global Warming, Says Study

California Drought Climate Change – Climate change caused by humans will reportedly helped bring about the current bout of California drought, according to a Stanford University study released Monday.

Turkish Airlines jet skids off on runway in Nepal, passengers safe

Jet Skids Off Runway: Watch Passenger, Crew Survive As Turkish Airlines’ Lucky Escape At Nepal Runway

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 jet skids off runway, and everyone on board the plane survived as it landed through dense fog, Wednesday, around 7 a.m. at Nepal's lone international airport. After the jet skids off runway, 40 arriving and 40 departing flights at Kathmandu, Nepal, were forced to cancel because the immobile plane covered almost a section of the runway, according to authorities.

Chile Volcano 2015

Chile Volcano 2015 (VIDEO) Eruption Of Lava Sends Thousands To Evacuate

A Chile volcano erupted early Tuesday, causing a serious threat among local residents and leading them to evacuate the area as lava surged down the volcano’s slopes.

Lisbon

Dream of Summer: Lisbon Getaway

While it is still cold and snow falls, escape the depressing winter by planning your trip to Portugal. As it is a Mediterranean country the temperatures stay milder in winter. And while you may not necessarily think the high 50s is warm the humidity is well over 50%, so the temperature will feel much warmer. Also the sun is out to warm you.

Mood of India

Delhi Rape Victim Blamed For Her Attack, Convicted Rapist Says She Should 'Just Be Silent And Allow The Rape', Internet Outraged, India Bans Interview

Delhi Rape Victim – In a shocking new interview banned across India, one of the rapists convicted in the 2012 New Delhi bus rape case has spoken up. According to Mukesh Singh, the victim is to blame for her rape. His comments have caused outrage across the world, whereas Indian authorities claim the video interview had violated four statutes in their penal code.

Community Responds to LAPD Shooting

LAPD Shooting, Killing Of Homeless Man Caught On Video

The LAPD shooting and killing of a home man in downtown Los Angeles Sunday had reportedly been caught on video. According to authorities Sunday, the LAPD shooting occurred on skid row during a struggle over an officer's weapons.

Tokyo, Japan

Safety First: Some of the World’s Safest Cities

When considering traveling somewhere for any length of time, it is crucial to be aware of the level of safety in the place that you are going to. The Economist has recently come out with the 2015 safe cities index so that people will know where they can and cannot feel safe.

Pakistani Child Being Vaccinated

471 Pakistani Parents Arrested After Refusing To Have Their Kids Vaccinated Against Polio

Pakistani parents were arrested and hundreds of others are being sought by authorities after refusing proper polio vaccination for their kids.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics