The parents of Audrey and Naomi Belanger carry photos of their daughters to Saint-Eleutherius, where the funeral took place in Pohénégamook, Saturday, June 30, 2012.
Credits: LOUIS DESCHÊNES/QMI AGENCY
POHENEGAMOOK, QUE. - As the two Quebec sisters found dead in a hotel room in Thailand were laid to rest on Saturday in their hometown, the cause of their deaths remains a mystery.
Results from the preliminary autopsies conducted in Thailand did not reveal how Audrey, 20, and Noemi Belanger, 25, died.
The autopsy report stated no traces of drugs were found in their bodies.
Quebec's coroner conducted a second autopsy, results of which are still unknown.
Staff on the Thai resort island of Phi Phi found the women dead in a hotel room two weeks ago. Thai authorities said there were no signs of violence in the room, but they said there was vomit on the floor and other signs the women were poisoned.
Audrey and Noemi's father, Carl, told QMI Agency earlier in the week that he deplored the way Thai authorities handled the case. He called Thai police work "corrupt" and "rotten."
Carl Belanger said the investigation took too long and there was little communication between Thai authorities and the family.
"(Thai) authorities said they found their bodies 12 hours after they died," Carl said. "But according to our calculations, it was 48 hours."
The Belanger family also told QMI Agency that Quebec coroner Renee Roussel told them the women's bodies were kept for five days in Thailand under conditions that were "not respectable."
The family was not able to identify the women's bodies because they were told the sight of the corpses would be too shocking, Carl said.
The family believes the sisters were accidentally killed by exposure to an insecticide vapour used to kill bed bugs.
Hundreds gathered Saturday afternoon for the funeral at a church in Pohenegamook, a town of just under 3,000 about 200 km northeast of Quebec City. The family is well-known in the community. Carl
Belanger owns a grocery store in town where Audrey and Noemi worked when they returned home from university in Quebec City.
Pohenegamook's mayor, Louise Labonte, who said she knew the women well, said the town is still in shock.
"Already two weeks have passed and we are still without words," she told QMI Agency on Saturday morning.