(HOUSTON) — A Texas couple drowned in Turks and Caicos while on vacation with their teen daughter, family and friends said.
Loved ones identified Irma Barrera, 33, and Roy Perez, 38, as two of the three people who died Monday in the waters of Bambarra Beach.
“Yes…they were victims,” Victor Mendieta, a former classmate of Perez’s, told ABC News on Thursday.
Family members confirmed to ABC Houston station KTRK that Barrera and Perez died in the drowning incident.
Their 15-year-old daughter was with them at the time but she managed to survive.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said three people drowned but did not release their identities. Police did say one of the victims was a 33-year-old woman.
It was not immediately clear what led to their deaths, but Police Commissioner Trevor Botting said in a statement they “got into difficulties in the waters.”
All three of their bodies have been recovered. The identity of the third victim was not known.
Two female minors were also rescued at the scene and are currently in the care of Social Welfare, police said. One of the females was related to two of the adults who died, while the other was related to the third adult, police said.
“The Turks and Caicos suffered a very human and terrible tragedy when five tourists from two families got into difficulties in the waters off Middle Caicos,” Botting said.
Family members are trying to bring Barrer’s and Perez’s daughter back home, they told KTRK.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help fund embalming of the couple’s bodies for a return to the states. As of Thursday morning, it had raised $21,525 out of its $50,000 goal.
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