Sisters Elle (left) and Madelaine Crawley (right).
Sisters Elle (left) and Madelaine Crawley (right).

Family rejects drug claims

THE family of Tweed woman Madelaine Crawley, who died in Italy last week, has rejected suggestions her death was linked to drugs or alcohol.

The 23-year-old was found unconscious in her bathroom in a camp in Rome on Thursday and later suffered a cardiac arrest from which she could not be revived.

Media reports have quoted both Miss Crawley's mother Heather and her uncle Bruce Melville as suggesting deep vein thrombosis was most likely to blame.

"They found her at 7.30 the next morning when she got up to go to the bathroom ... and her little legs were all swollen," Mrs Crawley told Fairfax media.

"She said she had been a little unwell.

"They are not saying DVT, but we are thinking that's what it was, or an underlying heart problem because they put it down to a heart attack.

"They tried for a long time to revive her, but she was already gone."

Mrs Crawley said her daughter was not interested in drugs and was a "grandma [who] doesn't do that sort of stuff".

Final toxicology results will not be released for another 60 days.

A second 29-year-old Australian woman was found unconscious in the room and was hospitalised at the same time.

Mrs Crawley said she had heard the young woman was not ill, but had collapsed from the shock of finding Miss Crawley's body.

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman said the 29-year-old had been released from hospital yesterday.

The spokesman said DFAT was supporting the Crawley family, local authorities and the Contiki tour group that Miss Crawley was staying with in Rome.


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