Montreal hospital worker found dead on beach in Cuba

·2 min read
Antoinette Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital, was found dead in Cuba Tuesday. (Facebook)
Antoinette Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital, was found dead in Cuba Tuesday. (Facebook)

Antoinette Traboulsi's family is looking for answers after the 52-year-old Montrealer was found dead on a beach in Varadero, Cuba, Tuesday.

Traboulsi's cousin, Sami Soussa, says he has been in touch with Global Affairs Canada and authorities in Cuba, who informed him of her death.

Global Affairs has confirmed a Canadian citizen was murdered in Cuba, but would not reveal the person's identity.

Traboulsi is survived by her three teenage daughters. Soussa describes her as an energetic woman who loved music, dancing and taking photos for social media, where she identified herself by the nickname "Angie."

She was a sanitation worker at Sacré-Coeur Hospital in northern Montreal. Soussa says Traboulsi had fallen in love with Cuba, and visited many times. Many of Traboulsi's photos on Facebook appear to have been taken in Cuba, with her posing on sandy beaches with turquoise water, sporting clothing with the Cuban flag and writing "I [heart] Varadero" on one.

Soussa says his cousin flew to Cuba last Friday, Nov. 13. She had rented a room at an establishment called Casa Gladys. The day after her arrival Saturday morning, she went to the beach, according to Soussa who saw photos she posted on social media.

In the evening, Traboulsi was supposed to meet Cuban friend, but never showed up. Soussa says he is in communication with the friend, who called Cuban police Sunday morning because she never heard from Traboulsi.

Soussa says the friend told him police waited 48 hours to see if Traboulsi would show sign of life, but when she didn't by Tuesday, they searched her room and saw her belongings were still there. They found her body soon after at a nearby beach.

In an email to CBC, Global Affairs Canada said: "We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Canadian citizen who has been murdered in Cuba. Consular services are being provided to the victim's family."

The agency said it is also in touch with Cuban authorities to "gather additional information."

Soussa says he and Traboulsi's family hope the person responsible for his cousin's death is found and arrested. They want to know what happened to Traboulsi, who was trying to enjoy the country she adored vacationing in.