Friends of newlyweds who died in Maldives seek funding to bring them home

January 14, 2019 - 6:33 PM
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Marriage Interaksyon
Wedding flowers (Pixabay)

Friends of a married couple who drowned during a honeymoon trip in Maldives are appealing for donations to help them bring their remains back to the Philippines.

Rajjee Television, a Maldives-based news agency, initially reported that a Filipino couple drowned in the waters of Dhiffushi Island of Kaafu Atoll in Maldives.

The Department on Foreign Affairs announced that the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka, which has jurisdiction over the Maldives, will cooperate with authorities there to help return the victims’ bodies to their home in the province of Laguna.

The names of the Filipino victims were identified in an ABS-CBN report as Leomer and Erika Joyce Lagradilla, high school sweethearts who tied the knot before 2018 ended.

Friends of the Lagradillas’ posted on Facebook details on where to donate the funds. The amount needed is P1.2 million or P634,000 for each person.

To everyone who may not yet have heard the news,Our dearest friends Erika Joyce Lagradilla and Leomer Lagradilla…

Posted by Nikko A. Quiogue on Sunday, January 13, 2019

An online campaign was also set up by a certain Raymond Adofina at fund-raising website GoGetFunding.

The DFA, meanwhile, also extended its apologies to the Lagradilla family and their friends.

“The DFA is in touch with the next of kin of the two overseas workers and has assured them of its assistance in the repatriation of their remains,” the statement said.

According to their friends, it was Leomer and Erika’s dream to go to Maldives. On January 11, they headed there for their honeymoon.

While snorkeling within the islands of Kaafu atoll, the report from Rajjee TV said that the man started to drown. The woman then called out for help.  Both of them were found motionless on the water when someone finally reached them.

They were pronounced dead-on-arrival upon reaching the hospital, the Maldives Police Service said.