Alabama Woman Who Died in US Virgin Islands Commemorated as Award-Winning Dancer

Bao Zhang
By Bao Zhang
July 31, 2023USshare
Alabama Woman Who Died in US Virgin Islands Commemorated as Award-Winning Dancer
Charlotte Amalie in St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands one week after Hurricane Irma made landfall on Sept. 17, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Lily Ledbetter, who passed away mysteriously in the U.S Virgin Islands last month, was an award-winning dancer “with a legacy of love and light.”

The 22-year-old Alabama native was found dead on June 6 at 12:33 p.m. in her apartment on St. John. Ms. Ledbetter’s former dance instructor Mandy Moore honoured her student on Facebook in a series of posts after news of her death.

“Your legacy of love and light will forever live on inside our studio,” Moore wrote on the day of Ms. Ledbetter’s funeral. “Until the next time baby girl—I love you.”

After more than a month, there is still no explanation for Ms. Ledbetter’s sudden death on the Caribbean island.

Dr. Francisco Landron, the medical examiner for the U.S. Virgin Islands, informed Fox News Digital on Monday that Ms. Ledbetter had a “negative autopsy.”

“There is no injury, nothing to explain the cause of the death,” he said, adding that they are still waiting on a toxicology report, which may reveal more on what happened.

Ms. Ledbetter had been employed part-time at a local animal shelter after moving to Cruz Bay. The former Auburn University student was an “accomplished, multi-award-winning dancer,” her obituary stated.

She trained at the Make Your Move Performing Arts studio in her hometown of Opelika, approximately 60 miles east of Montgomery, Alabama.

“I will always remember the twinkle in your eye and the love that filled the room when you walked in,” former instructor Ms. Moore wrote. “I only wished I had held on and never let you go when I saw you a few weeks ago.”

“The thread that binds us all is a love for each other and for dance,” she wrote. “There is no angel sweeter than this baby. I ask that you pray for her family and for all who loved her.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department did not immediately return requests for comment.

Dr. Landron has said officials do not suspect foul play. Ms. Moore and Ms. Ledbetter’s parents did not immediately return a request for comment.

The local government of St. John has been scrutinised in recent years for its poor handling of suspicious deaths. There are growing concerns involving the rate of violent crime on the small island that is heavily reliant on tourism.

On Feb. 21, retired U.S. champion swimmer Jamie Cail, aged 42, was declared dead after her boyfriend discovered her unresponsive in the house they shared on St. John.

Police launched a criminal investigation but have refused to release the New Hampshire swimmer’s cause of death.

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