*The below report includes a violent description of violence including sexual assault and may be triggering to some readers.
There’s an array of commentary on the thousands of people who have descended upon South Beach in the middle of a pandemic. Local law enforcement announced an 8 p.m. curfew this week and instituted a state of emergency in preparation to the hordes of travelers in search of warmer weather.
But a darker reality has emerged after a 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman was found dead in her hotel room on Thursday.
According to WTVJ, two suspects from North Carolina have been arrested after being accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Christine Englehardt, who later died in a room at the Albion Hotel in Miami. One of her relatives told the outlet that she was vacationing in Florida alone.
The two men ID’D as 21-year-old Evoire Collier and 24-year-old Dorian Taylor, also reportedly stole Englehardt’s phone, credit cards and cash.
Collier and Taylor face charges of battery, petty theft, sexual battery and credit card fraud. If authorities can verify that the drug given to Englehardt played a role in her death, they could also face manslaughter, or a murder charge.
Surveillance footage shows the trio entering the lobby around 1 a.m., capturing Collier and Taylor as they help prop Englehardt up. 30 minutes later Collier and Taylor surveillance video captures the men leaving the hotel.
A law enforcement official who testified at a Monday bond hearing said the footage shows Englehardt appeared to be intoxicated, and therefore was unable to give consent. Police believe Englehardt was sexually assaulted multiple times.
According to The Washington Post, Miami Beach Detective Luis Alsina said one of the men was seen on video “holding behind her, holding her by the neck, so she would stand still, because she was obviously intoxicated or drugged].”
“They did not call for assistance or help” once it was clear she was unconscious, Alsina said, “and began to take all of her items.”
An official cause of death has not been ruled, but police claim that Collier confessed to seeing Taylor hand Englehardt a “green pill,” after meeting at a local restaurant. Police have video of Taylor using Englehardt’s credit cards, and during his arrest found green pills and Englehardt’s phone on his person.
Prosecutors are waiting for the official cause of death to determine if more charges should be added. Both Taylor and Collier are scheduled to appear in court in April.