Coarsegold Woman's Mysterious Death in Thailand

May 7, 2009 10:18:57 PM PDT
A 27 year old woman who grew up in Coarsegold died mysteriously on Tuesday, while vacationing thousands of miles away.Jill Saint-Onge was on a trip with her fiancé when she passed away in Thailand.

These pictures show a smiling Jill St. Onge on an Asian tour with her fiancé Ryan Kells. It was in Thailand, near the end of their three month trip that the Coarsegold native became sick and died suddenly. Her father now lives in Fresno and her family says the news has been devastating.

Robert St. Onge said, "We're doing really bad right now because tonight's the night she's getting cremated. So it's killing everyone that we can't be there, and it's really bad. It's the worst thing any of us have gone through."

St. Onge lived in West Seattle and was known by many as an artist and humanitarian.

Brooke Freed, St. Onge's best friend said, "She was just so much a part of our lives it's impossible to think what it's going to be like without her."

Ryan Kells asked St. Onge to marry him on their trip. The happy couple booked a bungalow on Thailand's Phi Phi Islands. Now a Thailand news paper headline reads ? poisoning suspected after two tourists die.

"She couldn't breathe, she was vomiting, and I tried to run her to a hospital and she ended up passing maybe 12 hours after the first symptoms of being sick," said Kells.

The same weekend St. Onge died, a 22 year old Norwegian woman died after staying in the same bungalows. Last month another Norwegian tourist who stayed in the bungalows became sick with similar symptoms. Kells says the Thailand authorities have not been helpful.

"The U.S. Embassy said they didn't want to leave here footprints in Thailand. Well I find that to be ridiculous because I feel that Thailand has left a huge footprint in my life," said Kells.

It may be next week before Thailand authorities will allow him to bring his fiancé's ashes home. For now friends and family who are more than seven thousand miles are blogging to share information and support.

An autopsy is being performed overseas but it may be three months before results come back. St Onge's family has requested blood and tissue samples to have independent testing done.

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