Remains of Ontario woman killed in Hurricane Dorian to come home, family says

Alishia Liolli had moved to the Bahamas in 2013

Alishia Liolli in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Alysha Cardinale-Soderberg

The remains of an Ontario woman who died in the Bahamas during hurricane Dorian will soon be returned home, her mother said.

Josie McDonagh said Alishia Liolli’s body was flown off the Abaco Islands to a funeral home in Nassau on Wednesday night and should be coming to Canada in the coming days.

“There’s nothing in this world that could explain what I’m experiencing right now,” McDonagh said through tears.

Liolli, 27, died after the full force of Dorian hit the Caribbean islands on Sept. 1. She had moved to the Bahamas in 2013 where she helped build and run a program for adults with autism.

McDonagh could not get in touch with her daughter or her son-in-law for days as she frantically posted for help on various websites. Liolli’s husband, Cialin Dany, was able to find someone with a working phone to deliver the devastating news to McDonagh.

“The first three days was hell for me,” McDonagh said.

During those days, McDonagh spent a lot of time dealing with Canadian Consulate officials in Nassau. She said they were also struggling to get information in the aftermath of the hurricane due to the devastation it wracked upon Abaco Islands.

The official death toll in the Bahamas stands at 50, but authorities expect that number to increase significantly.

“The embassy couldn’t reach out to anyone on the island,” McDonagh said. “There was no police force left on the island. Their hands were tied, our hands were tied.”

Then Dany stepped up, McDonagh said. He was running all over the island with the couple’s 17-month-old son trying to get the paperwork in order to bring his wife’s body to Canada.

“If it wasn’t for my son-in-law, she wouldn’t be coming home,” McDonagh said. “That’s seven days running around with my grandson. He ran out of diapers, he ran out of milk. I blame the Canadian government for not going in and having our own people there helping out.”

McDonagh said she does not blame the people at the Canadian consulate, who continue to work under difficult circumstances, but she hopes the federal government can learn from her daughter’s ordeal.

Hours before Dorian pounded the Bahamas, Liolli asked her friends and loved ones on social media to pray for her family and the small island she called home.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified; but the dogs, chickens, husband & children are inside and everything is batted down the best we could!” Liolli wrote on Aug. 31. “I love you all — please pray for our Bahamasland, especially our Abaco.”

On Wednesday, Dany wrote about Liolli on Facebook.

“We had so much dreams and so much plans,” he said. “My heart is aching, my head is exploding.”

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Route announced for the Great Regional Air Hug of 2020

Aircraft will be departing from the Vanderhoof Municipal Airport at 12 p.m. on Aug. 15

“Let’s break the silence because we can”

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s awareness walk held Saturday in Fort St. James

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read