A 21-year-old woman fell to her death from a hotel’s 7th floor balcony in South Padre Island, a popular spring break destination off the coast of Texas near Brownsville.
According to media reports, Nereida Cruz, of nearby Los Fresnos, was celebrating spring break with five of her friends at the Padre South Hotel on Wednesday when the accident occurred.
"It is believed that she was perched on the balcony wall, kind of resting, and moved to adjust herself and slipped and fell to her death,” South Padre Island police chief Randy Smith told reporters.
“There were two witnesses” to the event, he said.
Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in her death.
"It doesn’t look like there was any alcohol, but I did order an autopsy,” Judge Bennie Ochoa, said.
“I don’t know if it was that the ground was wet, but she just went backwards,” Ochoa told the local Action 4 News. “She hit her head.”
Other students staying in the hotel mentioned that Cruz’s family was at the hotel Thursday. “They were in the lobby this morning, crying,” one woman told Action 4 News. “It was really sad.”
Another guest at the hotel told a reporter from NBC affiliate News Center 23 that his group had been partying just three floors below where the accident took place.
"We were on the balcony,” a spring breaker named Byron said, “for an hour or two, you know, just having a good time, talking, chilling, and hearing that someone fell from the balcony. I’m thinking, Wow, we could have fallen.”
Cruz’s death is the third on the island since last weekend.
On Saturday, police found Ruben Diaz, 24, dead inside a condo. According to local reports, Diaz, who travelled to the island with his siblings, suffered from seizures.
The headless body of a 30-year-old named Franklin Rodriguez Palacios Paz was pulled out of Laguna Madre Bay Monday night.
Cameron County Sherrif Omar Lucio told reporters that the body, which was spotted by a fisherman, also had cuts on the chest.
"According to investigators, the body did not appear to had been long in the water," Lucio noted, because it wasn’t bloated and hadn't been disturbed by sea life.
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