A New Zealand woman has been found dead in a South Wales tanning booth.
Piata Tauwhare, 30, is believed to have suffered an episode similar to cardiac arrest after being left alone for two hours.
Tauwhare was “just supposed to be in there for 10 minutes”, her husband Ifan Jones, 23, wrote on Facebook.
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She collapsed within the stand-up booth some time between 1.50pm and 3.50pm on Saturday.
Jones told The Liverpool Echo that when he and his mother couldn’t get in touch with Tauwhare by phone, they visited the salon near their Swansea home to see if she had left her phone behind after her appointment.
Tauwhare was found dead in a tanning booth on Saturday – now friends and family are raising money to return her body to New Zealand. Credit: Facebook
“As my mum was leaving, they realised she was in another room and the door was locked,” Jones said.
“My mum looked under the door and saw her feet. They then went to find the key and when we finally got in she was dead.
“Normally they come and check on you five minutes after the session so they can clean the bed for the next customer.
“They didn’t even check if she was in there or not. It was my mum who found her.”
Lextan, the salon chain where Tauwhare died, responded to the Liverpool Echo’s request for comment.
“We can sadly confirm that a customer died while at our Fforestfach salon,” a Lextan spokesperson said.
“We give our condolences to the deceased’s family and friends, and we have also offered counselling to any affected staff.
“We are co-operating with the investigation into this case by South Wales Police.”
Lextan confirmed that a customer died in their Fforestfach salon, and offered their condolences. Credit: Lextan
Jones and Tauwhare were married just last year.
He blames the salon in part for losing his wife, believing they could have done more.
“Maybe if they bothered to check why she was in there for so long she might still be with us today,” he wrote on Facebook.
Getting Piata back home
Efforts to transport Tauwhare’s body back to New Zealand are now underway.
“We want to get her back to New Zealand to be with her friends and family and have a traditional funeral,” Jones said.
“I also want to go there and be with her to see her finally put to rest. There will be a ceremony here with my friends and family showing their respects but then we will fly her out to New Zealand to do it properly.”
A Go Fund Me created for Tauwhare says it aims to help “her remarkable family pay their respects in the way Piata would have wanted, together.”
Jones says Tauwhare was the love of his life, and no one could say a bad word about her. Credit: Facebook
‘Truly beautiful lady, inside and out’
Tributes are flowing for Tauwhare, who is described as “the most special lady with the kindest soul” by her friends on Facebook.
“The void her sparkling, radiant, infectious smile has left behind will never be filled but we want Piata’s sense of affection, tenderness and goodwill to live on,” friend and organiser of Tauwhare’s Go Fund Me Ryan Craig-James wrote.
“Even when she didn’t understand a word our weird Welsh accents were saying, her teeth still glistened courteously and reassuringly to make us feel heard.
“That was her in a nutshell, a compassionate, selfless woman, putting others first, even when she couldn’t understand a bloody word we were saying.”
Jones said no one could say a bad word about Tauwhare.
“She was the most generous person you could ever meet … she would bend over backwards for anybody, friends, family, or strangers. It’s hard,” Jones told the Liverpool Echo.
“She helped me with everything. I suffer from anxiety and stuff like that and literally anything, she would do anything for me. Every single one of my friends and family got on with her straight away.
“Everyone loved her. If I was ever seen without her everyone would ask how she was.”