Cops release bodies of two Aussie nationals

The Karangasem Police officially released on Friday the bodies of Australian Noelene Bischoff, 54, and her daughter, Yvana Bischoff, 14.The bodies, which are to be flown to Australia as requested by the family, were sent on Friday night and were expected to arrive in Brisbane at dawn on Saturday. Police have declared that investigators found no evidence of foul play in the tragic deaths of Noelene and Yvana, who were visiting the resort island of Bali on holiday. However, investigators were not able to specifically determine the cause of death as the victims’ family refused to allow local authorities to perform autopsies.

“Investigators have yet to find any evidence of crime in this case,” head of the Karangasem Police investigative team, Adj. Comr. Adnan Pandibu, told journalists on Friday at the Bali Police headquarters in Denpasar. He later visited Sanglah General Hospital, where the bodies were being held, to present an official letter to the family stating that the police would release the bodies, before attending a closed-door meeting with Australian Consulate General staff, representatives of the hospital’s forensic team and staff of local private funeral service agency Antar Bangsa, to discuss the plan to fly the bodies home.

It was reported that the bodies would be sent home on a Virgin Australia flight. Two Virgin Australia flights were scheduled to leave Ngurah Rai International Airport for Brisbane on Friday night, one at 9:10 p.m. and another at 10:30 p.m. The mother and daughter pair arrived in Bali on the afternoon of Dec. 31. They planned to spend 15 days in several noted destinations on the island and had already spent three days in Ubud, where they watched a barong dance and rode elephants, before departing for the seaside town of Padangbai. It was at their Padangbai resort that the two fell gravely ill, sometime after midnight on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Both displayed symptoms generally associated with allergic reactions or food poisoning. The older Bischoff passed away in an ambulance while being transported to a nearby medical clinic and her daughter later died after being taken to the hospital in Denpasar. Adnan stressed that the police would continue the investigation in coordination with the Australia Federal Police. “The laboratory tests carried out on bile samples and medication collected in the room of deceased did not find any suspicious substances, including poison,” he said.

He also explained the police’s decision not to follow through with their official request for autopsies. Under Indonesian law, police have the authority to order an autopsy with or without family consent, in cases involving death under suspicious circumstances. However, the police decided to not use their authority in this case. “We did not order the autopsies and we honored the family’s request because our preliminary investigation did not find any indication of a crime,” he said. Through the Australian Consulate General, the family informed local police that they wished the autopsies to be conducted in Australia.

source : bali daily

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