St. Albert woman questions autopsy results in mother's death
Autopsy says Connie Lisowecki drowned due to a possible drug or alcohol overdose
A heartbroken St. Albert woman is looking for answers as Jamaican police investigate the death of her mother.
Connie Lisowecki, 60, was found dead in the pool of her home and boutique hotel just outside Negril, Jamaica Jan. 27.
"I feel like I've been robbed the chance to mourn my mom properly," said Tara Gunderson-Bruyere, Lisowecki's daughter. "I've got work to be done to tell my mom's story and make sure there's justice for her."
Gunderson-Bruyere learned of her mother's death on Facebook and flew to Jamaica with her husband in the days afterwards.
She said her mother died the evening after putting on a concert at the hotel, to raise money for a dear friend with cancer.
An autopsy found Lisowecki's death to be a drowning related to a possible drug or alcohol overdose, said Gunderson-Bruyere.
After speaking with some 30 people and carefully documenting what happened around the time of her death, Gunderson-Bruyere said she questions the autopsy findings and said she wants a second one performed.
Gunderson-Bruyere said there's "strong evidence" that foul play was involved. She noted that a set of keys always worn around her mother's neck was missing when she was found, but turned up later in the possession of an acquaintance.
"To say that my mom drowned in a pool contradicts everything about my mom," she said. "We come from the Great Lakes. All of us have been swimming since we are a year old. It's an outrageous, outrageous claim that my mom would fall into the pool."
While Jamaican police have not called it a homicide, officers are still investigating.
"It's far from being a closed case," said Adrian Hamilton, assistant superintendent of police in charge of the Negril police station.
He said police are collecting statements and toxicology results are expected at the end of the month.
"At that point in time we will review all evidence that we have and we will make a decision as to how we proceed from there."
"There are probably 10 people that can say they saw my mom that night and she was not falling down drunk," said Gunderson-Bruyere "Yeah she had a couple of drinks but she wasn't 'stuporing' drunk."
Hamilton said he is in constant communication with Gunderson-Bruyere.
"Because I believe that the family deserves that, and that's what we are committed to as a force, as an organization," said Hamilton. "And we are hoping at the end of the day we will have some form of closure through this investigation."
Gunderson-Bruyere described her mom as feisty and musical with a "wicked sense of humour."
But she was building a life in Jamaica after another tragedy in 2004. Lisowecki's other daughter died in a collision when she was just 18.
"She was very grief stricken," said Gunderson-Bruyere. "We lost a piece of her through that experience. And now my family has that concern for me."