Family rejects Bali death autopsies

Last updated 19:50 07/01/2014
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Family of Australia mother and daughter who died suddenly in Bali says they were "in the prime of their lives". Nine News.

Noelene Bischoff
SUDDEN DEATHS: Yvana Jeana Yuri Bischoff and her mother Noelene Bischoff.

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The family of an Australian mother and daughter who mysteriously died a day into their Bali holiday has requested autopsies on their bodies be performed in Australia instead of Bali. 

Noelene Bischoff and her 14-year-old daughter, Yvana Jeana Yuri Bischoff, died less than a day into their 15-day adventure on the Indonesian holiday island. Local police speculated food poisoning or anaphylaxis was to blame.

Bali police were advised of the Bischoff family's autopsy refusal through a letter from the Australian consulate.

''It didn't detail why they refused the autopsy,'' Adnan Pangibu, the criminal investigation chief in Karangasem, said.

''Without an autopsy it's going to be very difficult for us to investigate further.''

However, autopsies on the bodies will instead be performed in Australia. 

Australia's Attorney-General David Crisafulli has directed the Queensland Coroner to perform the autopsies. 

"Noelene and Yvana Bischoff's family deserve answers," Crisafulli said.

"They asked us for help and we said yes straight away.

"They requested that the autopsies be conducted here in Queensland and I have directed the Coroner to make that happen. Hopefully, it will shed some light on the cause of this tragedy."

Queensland's Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie knows the Bischoff family personally and attends the same Sunshine Coast church as Bischoff's mother Jean, but Crisafulli said he alone approved the request.

A Bischoff family spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said the family requested autopsies be carried out in Australia, because they wanted to get to the bottom of the mysterious deaths. 

''We want the truth,'' the family spokesperson said. ''We want to know if it was an accident, or if it wasn't an accident. Were they poisoned, or was it something else?

"We're worried that there will be a cover-up if the autopsy is done in Bali.

"It's not about prosecution. They died mysteriously. We just want to know why."

Under Indonesian law, however, authorities can proceed with an autopsy without permission.

The criminal investigation chief in Karangasem, Adnan Pangibu, said investigators would meet with consular officials to discuss the matter.

"We haven't decided to have an autopsy or not, even though the family has rejected it yesterday," he said.

"We also have interest to reveal the cause of these victims' death and that could only be discovered through autopsy."

Earlier, the managers of two restaurants in Bali where the mother and daughter dined rejected claims their food was to blame.

On Friday at 1pm, the pair entered Warung Dewa Malen restaurant in Gianyar, near Ubud, and appeared ''happy'' and relaxed, supervisor Wayan Bagia said.

''They asked for fritto misto, which has calamari, tuna and prawns, and it comes with French fries, and for another dish with fried calamari. And for dessert they had creme caramel,'' he said.

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Not one of the 108 other guests served lunch that day had complained about food poisoning, he said. Several diners had consumed the same dish. Ms Bischoff paid 404,140 Rupiah (NZ$40), using her credit card.

The pair returned to their resort, Padang Bai Beach Resort, in Karangasem on the south-east coast, and ate chicken curry, vegetarian pizza and mahi mahi fish at the resort's Buddha Bar.

Resort manager Giovanni Bareato told the family that the dinner was not to blame. He had eaten it, as well as the staff, with no adverse effects.

The Bischoff family has denied the pair had allergies, adding that Noelene, 54, loved seafood.

Malcolm Bischoff, Noelene's younger brother, said he felt shocked when Bareato described the scene in the ambulance. ''Her airway was closed, it was so swollen they couldn't even put a tract in. That's what the hotel manager was saying.''

- Sydney Morning Herald

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