The family of a Canadian woman who was badly beaten in a Mexican luxury resort hotel is standing by her husband and insists he was not involved in the brutal attack.
In a statement Wednesday, Sheila Nabb's family took the unusual step of issuing a statement to the media to counter what they said are allegations coming from Mexico that she was a victim of domestic violence.
Nabb, 37, was found unconscious with extensive facial injuries in an elevator of a five-star resort in Mazatlan, where she was staying with her husband, Andrew Nabb.
Nabb, who grew up in Nova Scotia but now lives in Calgary, remains in hospital in Mazatlan. She is now conscious and responsive, but her jaw is wired shut.
Doctors have decided to delay planned facial reconstruction surgery on Nabb because she has contracted pneumonia, her uncle, Robert Prosser, who lives in Kingston, N.S., confirmed to CBC News on Wednesday.
Prosser said he's been told the illness is common for people with a tracheotomy and she is being treated with antibiotics.
In a separate family statement, Nabb's brother Paul Giles said her husband was questioned by authorities immediately after the incident and was released when it "became apparent that he was innocent of any form of abuse."
"Anyone who has ever met Andrew will immediately disregard any and all accusations against him," Giles said in the statement. "They are the most loving couple that I know."
Giles also slammed phrasing of a Sinaloa state government news release that suggested the attack was a result of "violencia interna" — which Giles said a fluent Spanish-speaker told him should be translated as "internal violence" or "within a country" instead of domestic or family-related.
Surveillance videos could shed light
"The fact that the press release ended in "the ultimate tourist destination in Mexico" should give some indication as to the bias nature of the source," he said.
According to media reports from Mexico, the state attorney general has taken charge of the investigation.
The state's governor, Mario Lopez Valdez, spoke to reporters on Tuesday and suggested that there are surveillance videos from the hotel that should aid in the investigation.
He also said Andrew Nabb told authorities the door to the couple's hotel room was open when he woke up and found his wife missing.
An English-language statement released by a U.S.-based public relations agency representing the state government of Sinaloa made no mention of what might have been behind the attack, saying only that it was “an unfortunate and isolated event.”
The statement, emailed to CBC News, said the government views safety and security as “top priorities for tourists and citizens alike.”
“Hotels and resorts across Mexico adhere to the strictest of security standards which allow only guests to egress,’ the release said.