Sativa Transue, 26, and her boyfriend Taylor N, 31, were vacationing for the Thanksgiving holiday in Cancun, Mexico.
A hotel worker found her inside her room on 27 November and called 911 to report an unconscious woman. According to the Mexican police, Transue was killed the previous night, on 26 November. Her boyfriend had been drinking and allegedly beat her to death, reported Law & Crime. The motive has not yet been ascertained.
A Twitter account linked to the Cancun law enforcement released a blurry mugshot of the accused in what looked like a hotel bathrobe, and said the man was arrested for femicide, reported the Daily Beast. The woman’s boyfriend remains in prison on charges of murder.
The US State Department confirmed Transue’s death in Mexico.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a State Department official said. “The safety and welfare of US 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.”
Sharing the details of her sister’s death, Mykayla Bolieu, 21, wrote on Facebook that she was concerned when Transue’s friends informed her about a fight between the couple.
“My sweet sister was talked into going to Cancun instead of coming home for Thanksgiving. And she left Thursday,” wrote Ms Bolieu. “Yesterday she was messaging me, showing me the views, snapchatting my daughter Amelia. She told me she wasn’t having the best trip, but she was enjoying the sun.”
“Last night she texted her friends, who are amazing by the way. She was in a fight with her boyfriend and they said she had to have stitches,” she wrote on 27 November.
She added that her friends reached out to the police and the FBI on Saturday morning, as they feared for her safety. “We know last we heard her boyfriend is in jail in Mexico, and I hope he gets what he deserves,” Ms Bolieu wrote.
Her mother, Jayme Bolieu, said her daughter looked like she had been “beaten to a bloody pulp” when authorities found her.
“How could my beautiful healthy daughter be gone? In another country? It took my breath away. A part of me died,” she said. “She was my baby. I had her at 16. We grew up together. She was my life, my reason for living, my best friend.”
Her family has also set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for getting Transue’s body back from Mexico and bury her in Washington.