The group was reportedly caught in a fast-moving tide
A Texas couple vacationing in Turks and Caicos died alongside a family friend in a drowning incident that also involved the trio’s young daughters.
Officers on the Caribbean island responded to a report of a drowning on Bambarra Beach, Middle Caicos, on Monday afternoon, and confirmed the death of a 34-year-old woman, the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police said in a statement.
The body of an adult male was recovered several hours later, and two female minors were rescued from the waters, police said.
The search for a missing third person was suspended until Tuesday morning when he was eventually found with help from members of the U.S. Coastguard.
“This was a tragic loss of life and obviously all of us are asking every question we can about what went wrong,” Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said. “Our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone, most especially the children involved.”
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Botting also confirmed that one of the children rescued was a relative of the couple, while the second was related to the third victim.
The first two victims were identified as Irma Barrera and 38-year-old Roy Perez, a couple from Lake Jackson, Texas, according to ABC affiliate KTRK.
Their 15-year-old daughter was reportedly one of the children rescued from the water, and family members are working to get her back to the United States.
Barrera worked as a nurse at Angleton Emergency Room, according to her Facebook profile.
Perez, meanwhile, was remembered by friends on Facebook as a family man with a great sense of humor.
“Every picture with your family always brought a smile. A class clown to say the least!” one friend wrote. “Your daughters adore you man! Your daughters will forever be in my prayers. May you & your wife rest in peace.”
The third victim was identified as Richard Okoloise, a doctor who loved travel and medicine, according to NBC affiliate KPRC.
His daughter also reportedly survived the incident.
Though the water conditions on the day of the drowning remain unclear, Agence France-Press reports that the group was caught in a fast-moving tide fueled by high winds.