A Washington state woman was found dead in her swanky hotel room in Cancun after she was “beaten to a bloody pulp” during the trip with her boyfriend — who is now facing homicide charges.
A maid found Spokane native Sativa Transue, 26, dead Saturday in her room on the fourth floor of the $200-a-night All Ritmo Resort, where she had been vacationing with Taylor Allen, her 31-year-old boyfriend of three years, the Daily Mail reported.
The couple had argued the night before, according to the news outlet.
“The Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office reports that they have detained a man of foreign nationality, a probable participant in the femicide of a woman,” according to a statement by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, the Riviera Maya News reported.
The victim’s sister Mykayla Bolieu said the family is “devastated, shocked, confused and looking for answers” after receiving the shocking news, according to KREM.
About six months into the couple’s relationship, the family sensed something wrong and told Transue, who was living in Milton, Washington, to come home, Bolieu said.
The woman was planning to visit her family in the Spokane area for Thanksgiving but Allen wanted to head to the Mexican vacation spot instead, the outlet said.
“Her boyfriend was very controlling and he said, ‘No, I don’t want to go home. Let’s go to Mexico,’” Bolieu said.
“She loved Mexico. She had been there before. She texted me Friday that the sun was nice – and I am so beyond grateful that she got to enjoy it,” the sister told KHQ in Spokane.
But the family became alarmed after her friends sent them texts in which she said she needed stitches after an altercation, Bolieu said. And when the friends could not reach Transue, her loved ones began to panic.
“Apparently, [Allen] was threatening to jump off a four-story balcony” on Friday, Transue’s mother, Jayme Bolieu, told The Daily Beast. “Sativa was injured and had to have stitches.”
Mykayla told KHQ: “My mom did get a call from the US Consulate in Mexico at about 9 a.m. Saturday to say unfortunately Sativa had been found dead in her hotel room.
“At this point, they weren’t sure what happened, but since then her death has been ruled as a homicide. We won’t have an official cause of death until a family member gets down there to facilitate on our behalf,” the sister said.
“With COVID, and this being a crime in a foreign country, everything has been moving slowly,” she added.
Transue’s mother said her daughter looked like she had been “beaten to a bloody pulp” when authorities found her body.
A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast in a statement: “We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen, Sativa Transue, in Mexico. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss.
“The safety and welfare of U.S. citizens overseas is the highest priority of the Department of State. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death and are providing the family all appropriate consular assistance,” the official added.
A Twitter account linked to Cancun law enforcement has released a blurred-out mugshot of the alleged suspect wearing what appears to be a hotel bathrobe, according to the news outlet, which said it was not releasing the name of the alleged suspect because it has not been able to reach Mexican authorities about his status.
The State Department official told The Daily Beast in an email that “We are aware of reports of an arrest, and are monitoring the investigation closely. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment at this time.”
Jayme said her aunt traveled to Mexico on behalf of the family and “has seen the pictures and said she looked like she was beaten to death.”
The mother said her Allen “was very emotionally abusive. He checked her phone, and we couldn’t text her because it went to her computer and he would check that.”
Mykayla told the outlet that he would drink so much that she [Sativa] called it like a different personality. She would call it [his] ‘Beast.’”
Public records cited by The Daily Beast show that the alleged suspect was charged with fourth-degree assault in 2012.
Mykayla said the family is desperate to get her sister’s remains transported back to the US.
“[We want] a second autopsy,” she told KHQ. “This is a really expensive process. We want and need justice for Sativa.”
A GoFundMe campaign the family set up to get the body back from Mexico for burial back home has received many donations, she said.
“I didn’t even know she knew that many people. People who I’ve never heard of, people from other countries, are contacting me. Her bosses actually donated $2,000 from her work. That was amazing,” Mykayla said.