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

Just Posted

RDOS to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

Penticton Vees looking for revenge in weekend BCHL games

The Penticton Vees are looking for some sweet revenge when they head to Vancouver Island

Prospera and Westminster credit unions approved for proposed merger

Abbotsford- and Surrey-based companies now take matter to membership vote

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

RDOS applies for license of occupation for Okanagan Falls trestle

License needed in order to work on the structure

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Summerland grocery store offers warm atmosphere, community service

Nesters Market has been involved in numerous initiatives within Summerland

WFN elects new chief

Westbank First Nation members elected Christopher Raymond Derickson Thursday night

Summerland Ladies Club competes for Rental Cup

One-day golf tournament sponsored by Summerland Rental Centre

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

Most Read