The family of a South African woman has been left with more questions than answers after the 25-year-old’s body was found in a hotel in the Bahamas.

Carla van Eeden had finished crewing on a yacht and decided to spend a few days relaxing on Paradise Island, off Nassau, before making her way to the US, the family’s lawyer William Booth told News24 on Wednesday.

While information is still sketchy, local media were reporting that police found her body hanging by a cord at the back of the bathroom door of her hotel last week.

“Her family are a bit traumatised and upset and are not able to understand how it happened. They are extremely shocked,” Booth said.

A petite Van Eeden shared her recent and extensive travels on Facebook. 

Last month, she expressed her excitement at having attended the Coachella music and arts festival.

Cause of death

She made her way to Mexico “for some serious down time”, followed by a quick stop in Cape Town before heading back to the US.

Her brother contacted Booth, a well-known criminal lawyer who has represented people involved in several high-profile murder cases over the past few years, to help police probe her murder and to give the family advice.

Booth said not much information had yet been relayed by authorities, and the cause of death was not yet known.

Some family members flew over to the island this week to get more answers.

They had asked South African authorities at the nearest embassy to meet up with them and assist diplomatically.

“The family are saying something must have happened to have caused it.”

Booth would assist to determine whether foul play was involved. His role was also to make sure that the police properly investigated the matter and obtained the necessary evidence.

“We are checking to see whether there is CCTV footage in the passages to see if someone had broken in or if someone was lurking there.” 

Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said the department was not aware of the incident.

“We invite the family to call the department directly,” he said. 

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