Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico – The Iowa family of four who were reported missing on Wednesday have been found dead in their condo near the vacation town of Tulum on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.
The family from Creston, Iowa - Kevin Sharp, 41, Amy Sharp, 38, Sterling Sharp, 12, and Adrianna Sharp, 7 – were all found dead by Mexican authorities after family members contacted police to report them missing.
Family members contacted the Creston Police Department to report the Sharps missing around midnight on Thursday. Family members began a social media campaign to find the missing family shortly thereafter.
Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer said that investigators were able to find out that the Sharp family had not boarded their return flight from Cancun on Wednesday as planned.
Police contacted the U.S. State Department, who contacted officials in Mexico. Mexican police investigated and found the entire family dead in their condominium.
The State Attorney’s Office of Quintana Roo, the Mexican state on the Yucatan Peninsula where the Sharps’ bodies were found, confirmed that their ministry was investigating the cause of the family’s deaths, according to the Des Moines Register.
The initial investigation showed no signs of injury on the bodies, Mexican officials said. Mexican authorities were performing autopsies on the bodies to determine the cause of death.
Hoyt said they were expecting the Sharp family to return to St. Louis on a non-stop flight on Wednesday night.
The family had planned to drive to Danville, Illinois, to watch their favorite basketball team play in the national tournament if they won their opening game Wednesday, but they never arrived.
“Nobody's cell phones are on and they didn't land in St. Louis last night," Hoyt told the Creston News Advertiser. "There's been no Facebook posts and that's not like them. They're always posting pictures when they're on vacation."
There is currently a “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” advisory out for U.S. citizens traveling to the Quintana Roo state in Mexico, posted by the U.S. State Department. The popular tourist destinations of Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum are all located within Quintana Roo, and those areas have been plagued with crimes against tourists in recent months.
Chief Ver Meer said Mexican officials were communicating with U.S. law enforcement, and they were waiting for results of the autopsies.
The chief said there is no information yet about when the bodies will be sent home to Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported.