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

LETTER: New procedures to address council are a big concern

Donna Clay says asking public to wait until end of meetings to raise questions is inpractical

Ridge Meadows house leage softball sign-up this Thursday

Players have the option to register in-person or online

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society there for seniors dealing with grief and loss

Discussion on grief and loss to take place at the Maple Ridge Public Library

Cyclist hit Monday in Maple Ridge

Collision on Dewdney Trunk Road, minor injuries

BREAKING: Body found in Maple Ridge identified as Coquitlam soccer player

Edi Bogere-Nyigwo was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home on Dec. 27

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read