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US flight attendant found dead at Taj hotel

A half-finished letter has been found, though police refuse to confirm if it was a suicide note, report Debasish Panigrahi and Jyoti Shelar.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 04:03 IST

Mystery shrouds the death of Delta Airlines air hostess Marilyn Duston (50), who was found dead in the bathroom of her room at the Taj Mahal hotel at Colaba on Thursday. A half-finished letter was found, though police refused to confirm if it was a suicide note.

Additional Commissioner of Police (South) Dr K Kanakratnam told HT that Duston’s body was found in Room 311, wrapped in shower curtains. There were bloodstains on the floor and a wound on the back of Duston’s head that was probably the result of a fall. She is believed to have strangled herself with the shower curtains, but only a post-mortem, the results of which are awaited, can confirm a suicide.

Duston, an Ohio resident, had checked into the Taj along with eight Delta crew members on Tuesday. They were supposed to man a Delta flight at 1 am on Thursday.

At 9.30 pm on Wednesday, she told some colleagues that she was taking a nap and requested them to give her a wake-up call at midnight. When the wake-up call did not get a response, they informed the hotel staff, who called out to Duston and banged on the door. Finally, the police were called and the door was opened with a duplicate key.

Duston was found dead inside the bathroom, the door of which had to be broken open by a carpenter.

Police found three sheets of paper, two of which were partly torn. The one found intact had the words “dear mom, you taught me values, but…” scrawled on them. On one of the partly torn sheets, the name ‘Mike’ at “JFK airport” was written. The note spoke of how he was trying to end a relationship.

An empty bottle of gin and some tablets were also found in the room.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Arup Patnaik said the US consulate was informed and the body would be handed over to it after investigations ended.

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First Published: Feb 16, 2007 03:45 IST