Family of Canadian woman murdered in Playa del Carmen speaks out
On April 25, The Yucatan Times reported on a grisly case of a Canadian woman’s remains found in two suitcases in Playa del Carmen. Here is an update on the story in which relatives of the slain woman speak out to the Toronto Sun.
Lori Archambault enjoyed tropical breezes and sun-soaked beaches while living in Mexico for 11 years, but the St. Catharines woman’s idyllic life in paradise came to a violent end a few months after meeting a new boyfriend.
Two months later the 46-year-old’s dismembered remains, which were found stuffed into two suitcases, sit in a funeral home cooler in Welland, Ont., waiting to be laid to rest while her grief-stricken family struggles with mounting bills and more questions than answers.
“We’re all just heartbroken and still in shock,” Shelley Archambault told the Toronto Sun recently, adding her sister-in-law was “a loving mother, sister, daughter and friend.”
A close friend, who was in regular contact with Lori, contacted the Archambaults on April 20 after she was unable to reach her for days.
Lori was reported missing to Niagara Regional Police, the Canadian Consulate and Interpol. The family was notified the next day that Lori’s body was actually found days earlier, on Apr. 17, but Mexican cops had not been able to identify her.
Local news reports suggest a public transit driver unloaded two blood-soaked suitcases from a van in Playa del Carmen, in the state of Quintana Roo, after travelling from Tulum where Lori had been living.
However, learning Lori was chopped up and stuffed into luggage was just the beginning of the Archambault family’s nightmare.
“The whole thing has been horrifying,” Shelley said. “But we’re thoroughly disgusted at the way things have been handled since Lori’s passing.”
Shelley and her husband, Jeff Archambault, 46, along with Lori’s other brother Matthew Archambault, 43, and his girlfriend Robin Choffe, are just the latest in a long line of families who have faced overwhelming expenses as well as roadblocks from both the Canadian and Mexican governments while seeking often elusive justice for a loved one.
“You would think with all of the Canadians who have been murdered in Mexico that by now our government would have a better system in place to help guide families through this process,” Shelley said.
A spokesman for Global Affairs stressed the government helped repatriate Lori’s remains and is providing consular assistance while remaining “in close contact with family and friends.
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