News State QLD News Bischoff family rejects Bali autopsy

Bischoff family rejects Bali autopsy

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It’s unclear whether Indonesian authorities will conduct autopsies on the bodies of a Queensland mother and daughter who fell fatally ill in Bali.

The family of Noelene Bischoff and her 14-year-old daughter Yvana has advised local police not to perform the autopsies.

The family wants the bodies returned to Australia.

Indonesian polices were reportedly advised of the 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, told Fairfax Media.

“Without an autopsy it’s going to be very difficult for us to investigate further.”

However, under Indonesian law an autopsy can proceed without permission from Tuesday.

Ms Bischoff, a nurse from the Sunshine Coast, and Yvana died in the early hours of Saturday, a day after checking into the beachfront resort of Padang Bai in Karangasem, on Bali’s east coast.

Their relatives have been told that toxic fish may have caused their deaths.

The head of Denpasar Police Forensic Laboratory, Agus Budiartha, has said it could take longer than a week to determine the cause because forensic officers have a lot of samples to examine, including medication found in their room.

Ms Bischoff and Yvana ate a mixed seafood lunch on Friday at the Warung Dewa Malen restaurant, a popular eatery with Australian tourists in Ubud, around 50km from Padang Bai.

Later that day the pair checked into their hotel and ate seafood again for dinner — this time mahi mahi fish at the Buddha Bar and Restaurant attached to the resort.

About six hours later, Yvana reportedly sought help from security staff, saying she and her mother had fallen gravely ill.

Ms Bischoff died while being transported by ambulance to a local medical centre and Yvana died at the Bali International Medical Clinic in Denpasar.

The resort’s hotel manager, Giovanni Bareato, said he and a group of others had also eaten the same fish that night.

“We haven’t fallen ill and I know of no one else who has fallen ill from the food,” he told AAP.

Food safety consultant and microbiologist Dr Patricia Desmarchelier says it’s an unusual case, however it’s possible the pair may have died from toxic fish, including a condition known as ciguatera poisoning.

Ciguatera poisoning is contracted by eating warm water ocean finfish, like mahi mahi, that carry the ciguatera toxin produced by a tiny organism attached to algae.