US couple’s death in Fiji: Tell us what you know
26 June, 2019, 9:39 am
IF there is one thing grieving parents Marc Calanog and Marsha Cutlip Paul would love right now, it is to hear from those who last saw their children alive.
They expressed extreme disappointment about the “barriers to the fl ow of information” or “clamming up” to simple questions such as who had possession of Michelle and David Paul’s belongings, including their cellular phones.
“It is one month now and investigations are ongoing, but it is also one month now and I still wonder what were the last things they did or said,” Mrs Paul said.
“I am interested in everything anybody has to say about seeing them or coming in contact with them.
“I was waiting and have been wondering why there have been no media interviews with the workers at the villa, the driver who took them to the clinic, the police officer who came in contact with them.
“You would think everyone would want to work together to help us, especially when we are so far away. What we are asking for is what anybody who has lost a loved one would want to know.
American David, 38, and his wife Michelle, 35, died a few days after they arrived on May 22 for their dream holiday in Fiji. Investigations ruled out influenza and infectious disease as the cause of death and the families have been told that tests for toxins were currently in progress.
Mrs Paul said as a mother, she always wanted to know about her children’s everyday lives.
“What they were doing, where they were going, and we always even shared what we had eaten special each day.
“My kids have always known that I am just a phone call away and I always answer and am ready to hear about their husband or wives, about their jobs, their children.
“We mums just love our kids and their lives.
“I just miss David and Michelle so much, I just really want to know what their last moments were like, right from when they got there.
“I can’t understand why the media cannot speak to these people.”
Mr Calanog said “clamming up” could do more harm than good.
“Why so cagey, and why can’t we get answers to harmless questions like who has their phones,” he said.
“I watched a video they sent when they got into Fiji and they were so happy.
“It makes me long to know what their last days or hours were like.
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said “no one is clamming up”.
“I completely understand where they’re coming from, wanting to hear from those who met and spoke with, but that has nothing to do with us,” he said.
He said those requests should be directed towards the clinic that first saw them and the property where they stayed.
As for the whereabouts or their phones, Dr Waqainabete said, “You’re asking me questions I don’t have answers to”, and referred this newspaper to police.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro, however, maintained yesterday as she has over the past few weeks, that all queries on the deaths “would be made by the Health Ministry”.
In response to a request to interview staff members who interacted with the couple, a senior executive of the property the couple stayed at said their position remained unchanged and “unfortunately we are unable to grant media interviews with our associates”.