Teachers and business owner who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at Mexico City Airbnb brought light to those around them, families say
The mother of two and one-time college student whose death from carbon monoxide poisoning at a Mexico City apartment is now considered a homicide was an inspiration for people around her, her family said.
“I’m doing an autopsy next week,” Dr. Edith Espinal, a medical examiner in Mexico City, said of the autopsy of 24-year-old Maria de los Angeles Fernandez.
Fernandez was found dead in January in one of dozens of rooms of a Mexico City apartment owned by a popular Mexican entrepreneur, the owner of the Mexico City-based startup, Airbnb, called him. She had been staying at the residence in San Angel, Mexico for about six months.
What began as a case of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at her home in the city’s San Angel neighborhood quickly developed into a crime scene and then, when her family stepped forward to help the investigation, to the death of a young woman who had never been missing and whose family had no inkling where she was at the time of her death.
“She was an inspiration for the community. She was a mentor to us,” her mother, Mercedes, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday from her home in northern Mexico.
As her family began to piece the story together, they learned that Fernandez was not only a mother to two young children, but also a college student who was studying psychology at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, or IATE, a private college. This was the first time she had attended classes at a college since she was a teenager.
It was the class that would change Fernandez’s life forever, one of dozens of teachers who changed hers and that of her students.
“She was the best student I’ve ever had,