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Iowa family of four found dead in Mexican resort town

Iowa family of four found dead in Mexican resort town
By Dennis Romero and Associated Press with NBC News World News
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No evidence of foul play was suspected in the deaths at a condominium in the Caribbean resort town of Tulum, Mexican officials said.

LOS ANGELES — Mexican authorities said there are no indications of violence in the deaths of four members of an Iowa family found in a condominium where they were vacationing near the resort town of Tulum.

The Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the office of the attorney general for the state of Quintana Roo on Mexico's Caribbean coast both told NBC News that no indications of a struggle or crime were found on the bodies or in the condominium where the Sharp family was staying.

"So far, no signs of violence have been found," said Paulina Chávez Alonzo, spokeswoman for the embassy. She offered the Mexican government's "deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Sharps."

The office of the state attorney general was investigating the deaths. An official in the office said the bodies of the parents were found in bed while those of the children were discovered in front of a television. A police official in the Sharps' hometown of Creston, Iowa, said the department was "not releasing any information until we get autopsy reports back."

Iowa authorities identified the dead as Kevin Sharp, 41, Amy Sharp, 38, and their children, 12-year-old Sterling and 7-year-old Adrianna.

Ashli Peterson, who has been posting updates on the Sharp family and claimed to be a relative, posted on Facebook that she believed "there was no foul play."

She stated on Facebook that the family left for Mexico on March 15 and was expected to return to St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Wednesday. When they failed to arrive they were reported missing to local police Thursday, she wrote.

NBC News was not immediately able to verify Peterson's relationship to the family.

The day after the Sharps departed, the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory urging Americans to "exercise increased caution" when traveling in the state of Quintana Roo, which also includes Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. The department cited "targeted" homicides and "turf battles between criminal groups."

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