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Family of teen who died on grad trip to Cuba trying to bring her body home

The family of a Belleville, Ont., teen who died during a high school graduation trip to Cuba says they are trying to get her body back home.

Alex Sagriff, 18, was found dead in her hotel room in Varadero, Cuba on Thursday night

Alex Sagriff was a student at St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School in Belleville. She had been vacationing in Varadero with other graduating students when she was found dead in her hotel room. (Facebook)

The family of a Belleville, Ont. teen who died during a high school graduation trip to Cuba says it is trying to bring her body back home.

In a statement released this weekend, the family of Alex Sagriff, 18, says she was found in her hotel room in Varadero, Cuba on Thursday night. The family said it has little information about her death.

"Our concern right now is trying to get her home. We don't know much of anything," the statement reads.

"Alex was an amazing young woman, she had a ton of friends, and has a ton of family who love her," it said.
Alex Sagriff in her prom dress. (Facebook)

The statement added that right now it is an "awful time" for the family.

Sagriff was on a trip organized by S-Trip, a Toronto-based travel agency that specializes in young adult vacations, when she died.

The cause of death has not been officially released.

Her family said she had just graduated from St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School in Belleville and was expected to attend Loyalist College in Belleville in the fall.

On Facebook, tributes are being posted for Sagriff.

In a post on Facebook, Allyson Tufts says: "Alex was her Mother's best friend, her Daddy's little girl, her brother's little sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a best friend (and sometimes both), an athlete, and a complete joy. We are all absolutely broken as we attempt to grasp losing her."

Dorothy Davenport, in another Facebook post, writes: "She was so funny, beautiful inside and out, smart and so loveable."

Alex Sagriff played for the senior girls basketball team at St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School in Belleville.

Canadian officials in Havana are gathering details

Global Affairs Canada has confirmed that a Canadian has died in Cuba but has not confirmed that Sagriff is the Canadian who died.

Jocelyn Sweet, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa, said in an email that Canadian consular officials in Havana are in contact with local authorities to gather information, while consular officials in Ottawa are providing help to the family. 
Tributes are being written on Facebook for Alex Sagriff. (Facebook)

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the Canadian who passed away in Cuba," Sweet said on Sunday.

Sweet declined to name the resort at which Sagriff was staying. 

S-Trip says teen pronounced dead at the scene

S-Trip has refused to comment on the death, but in a letter sent to parents and guardians of students on the trip, it said staff were contacted at 9:30 p.m. on July 6 about a medical emergency.

"Emergency medical services arrived on scene and attempted to resuscitate the individual," the letter reads.

S-Trip said Sagriff was pronounced dead at the scene. It also said a doctor on the scene declared that Sagriff died of natural causes, but that determination has not been independently verified. The family did not release a cause of death.

The travel agency also said it is working directly with the family of the young woman but could not share any further details or make conclusions regarding the circumstances of her death.

The family of Alex Sagriff, 18, who died on a high school graduation trip to Cuba, has released this statement. (Twitter)

With files from The Canadian Press