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Boyfriend Arrested After Washington State Woman Found Dead In Cancun Hotel
The two had traveled together to Mexico for Thanksgiving and reportedly had one physical altercation before she was killed.
The boyfriend of a 26-year-old Washington woman who was “beaten to death” in a Cancun hotel room over Thanksgiving break has been arrested by Mexican authorities, her family said.
On Friday, Sativa Transue was found dead in her hotel room in Cancun. Her 31-year-old boyfriend, Taylor Allen, was later arrested on homicide charges, according the Riviera Maya News.
The U.S. State Department declined to confirm the identity of Allen but acknowledged an American citizen had been arrested in Quintana Roo.
"We can confirm the arrest of a U.S. citizen near Cancun, Mexico," a spokesperson for the State Department said Friday afternoon, Fox News reported. "We are closely monitoring the investigation. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment."
No further information was readily available about Allen’s status.
The agency also confirmed Transue’s death in a separate statement this week.
“The safety and welfare of U.S. citizens overseas is the highest priority of the Department of State,” a spokesperson for the agency’s press relations office told Oxygen.com in a statement on Friday. “We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death and are providing the family all appropriate consular assistance.”
Her father, Jason Transue, said his daughter had been “beaten to death.”
“I thought it was not real,” Jason Transue told Fox News after receiving the news. “I hoped that it wasn't real."
Transue had decided to skip the family’s Thanksgiving, opting instead to travel to Mexico with her boyfriend of three years, the 26-year-old’s parents said.
In October, Transue posted an image on Facebook of herself and Allen at a Seattle Seahawks NFL game.
“First Seahawks game down with my partner in crime,” she wrote.
According to Transue’s family, though, Allen had displayed troubling signs of abusive and controlling behavior — including monitoring Transue’s phone and threatening to kill himself by jumping off a fourth floor balcony during an argument on the trip just hours before her body was discovered.
"I believe that's when she told him that she wanted to leave, and I think that that's why he was making these threats about trying to jump," Jason Transue told Fox News.
Mykayla Bolieu, Transue’s sister, claimed the couple got into a physical altercation on Friday, on the second day of their vacation, according to a GoFundMe page the family started to bring Sativa Transue’s remains home.
“Her boyfriend and her at some point had gotten into an altercation and stitches were needed for Sativa,” Bolieu wrote. “She couldn’t recall what happened.”
Jason Transue told Fox that Allen had a drinking problem, noting his daughter had nicknamed him “The Beast” when he’d become intoxicated.
Stacia Shirley, former employer to both Transue and Allen, also told Fox News that Allen had "a ridiculous temper."
"When Sativa texted me and told me that they were dating, I was shocked,” she said.
Bolieu said that Sativa's friends contacted police, and reportedly tipped off the FBI. A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment on the open investigation when contacted by Oxygen.com on Friday.
"I don't know who I am without Sativa," Bolieu told Seattle television station KING-TV of her sister. "I'm not Mykayla without Sativa."
Transue’s other family members, who are reeling from her sudden death, said she’ll be remembered as an “amazing” young woman whose “smile would brighten up anybody’s day.”
“Sativa was just a ray of sunshine, just such a beautiful person," her former employer, Shirley, told Fox.
"Her laugh," she added. "I've been begging people to send me videos of that because I can't imagine my life not being able to ever hear that again."
“People talk about someone being sunshine and rainbows, and that was exactly how she was,” her friend, Bri McMillen, told the Spokesman-Review. “There was never a bad bone anywhere in her body.
Transue, who lived in Milton, Washington and grew up in Cheney, graduated from Eastern Washington University, according to the paper. She received a degree in exercise science.
A representative for the State Department didn’t immediately reply to Oxygen.com’s requests for more information regarding the incident.