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American Woman Dies In Cancun Attempting To Gain Entry To Her Locked Airbnb

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A 20-year-old American tourist tragically lost her life after returning to her Airbnb rental from the beach in Cancun on Jan. 6th. The keys to her room were locked inside the third-floor apartment, and Leah attempted to gain access by climbing onto the balcony. This effort ultimately cost her her life. An obituary was posted online soon afterward as an ode of remembrance and respect. 

Hailing from Newburyport, Massachusetts, Pearse was earning her 5-year Master’s degree in nursing at Simmons University. To top it off, she was also a certified nursing assistant at the prestigious Mass General Hospital.

As her obituary declares, Leah was an intelligent and accomplished young woman who excelled in school. Tragically, she passed away following a wonderful day filled with beach fun, a delectable dinner out, and dancing.

Ambulance and Balcony

Untimely Tourist Accidents In Cancun Last Year

While Leah’s recent and tragic death has placed a spotlight on the dangers of certain tourist activities in Cancun, her misfortune is unfortunately not an isolated case. In 2022, there were a number of tourist-related accidents, leaving several people injured or dead. This includes falls from hotel balconies, drowning incidents at beaches, and car accidents.

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Accident in Cancun with an ambulance in the background with a driver standing in front of the vehicle and two people talking on the street.

Last fall saw another tourist fall from a Cancun hotel balcony five stories up. This, unfortunately, added to the list of similar cases – where vacationers have suffered various injuries or worse while on vacation.

Moreover, during the summer of 2022, another tourist had his life changed forever in a matter of moments when he was struck by a tragic pool-related accident while visiting Cancun. Sadly, this tragedy follows a similar incident that happened only weeks prior. The victim suffered severe injuries to his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and needing extensive rehabilitation. 

tourists eating dinner outside on pier in cancun

Unfortunately, alcohol consumption can often be a contributor to unfortunate mishaps, which was the case with an American traveler in Tulum. If you’re not familiar, Tulum is just two hours south of Cancun and is renowned for its ancient culture. A mere two months ago, an American woman had crashed into a cement wall outside her Alba Hotel located at Aldea Zama. She was driving a motorcycle, and fortunately, she survived this accident. However, she sustained head trauma from the incident.

Tourist Safety Hazards In Cancun

Cancun welcomed its 30 millionth passenger last year. As this favorite vacation spot expects an influx of travelers in 2023, it is essential to ensure security measures for visitors exploring the area. Under no circumstances should you take chances, even if the risk appears minuscule. Investing in traveler’s insurance will always be worth it, as you never know when you might need to use it. Most importantly, abide by all rules and regulations that are in place at your destination.

Aerial view of Cancun's resorts

Moreover, it is vital to research the area thoroughly before starting your journey. Not only will this make you more aware of any potential threats, but it also allows you to enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

tourist taking photo in front of cancun sign

Final Word

Leah’s untimely death serves as a stark reminder of how hazardous balconies can be for risk-taking vacationers. While some may view balconies as an easy entryway into a home or hotel room, you can never be too certain. It is important to remember the dangers if proper precautions are not taken. Even seemingly secure balconies can have hidden weaknesses or structural defects that could result in serious injuries or death. It is all too common for vacationers to lose their sense of caution. This may be due to the relaxed atmosphere or a general lack of awareness. As a result, this can lead to deadly consequences.

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Sunday 15th of January 2023

Really Sorry for the familly I have 1 question. Was she alone and if yes how they know it is the real story of what happened. I would like to know. So many things is hapenning in Cancun.

Martha from Canada


Tuesday 17th of January 2023

@Martha, I have lived in the Cancun area since 2007. Moved here after retiring from a western, US state police department. I have no idea what happened in this case but I know for a fact the officials in Cancun will go to any length to not report an incident as a crime.