Centre to test for toxins to determine deaths

David and Michelle Paul died of a mysterious illness while vacationing in Fiji. Picture: SUPPLIED/ABC News

INVESTIGATIONS into the death of Americans Michelle and David Paul are now testing for toxins to determine whether it was poison that debilitated the young and healthy couple.

Speaking from West Virginia yesterday after a telephone conference with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, David’s mother, Marsha Cutlip Paul, said tests so far had come up with nothing conclusive.

“They are looking at toxins now,” she said. “They will be doing more testing and said it could take up to two weeks.”

On speculation on social media that the couple could have been murdered, Mrs Cutlip Paul said, “I can’t see how they would have enemies”.

David, 38, and Michelle, 35, got violently ill two days after arriving in Fiji for a dream holiday in May.

Their ‘illness’ was so aggressive they died days apart and within a week of their arrival in the country.

They share a son, Ayden, 2, and David also has three children from past relationships.

Both their families have been adamant they wanted to know the ‘root causes’ of the deaths because of the “baffling” circumstances under which they died.

Both Michelle and David had texted members of their family two days into their holiday, saying they were sick and throwing up for up to eight hours.

Michelle died on May 25 and David succumbed to the mysterious illness two days later.

In its most recent update on the investigation, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services said after an extensive, multi-organisational investigation, an infectious cause of death had officially been ruled out.

Influenza was also ruled out days after the death.

“Through continued collaboration with the CDC, further tests are being conducted to determine a cause of death, and family will be updated as further developments unfold,” the statement said.

Organisations involved include the CDC, the World Health Organization, WHO’s partners the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Collaborating Centre, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, the Fiji Police Force’s forensics department, and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health.

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