MEXICO CITY, March 11 (UPI) -- A 19-year-old Michigan student on spring break died in a fall from a Cancun hotel balcony.
Ahmed Altaii was on the final day of his vacation at the GR Solaris hotel with his girlfriend, Heidi Newman, when he died.
The business major at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Mich., fell from the seventh floor of the hotel balcony Saturday night, according to a report from Cancun's municipal authorities.
An autopsy and toxicology report were pending, the Yucatan Times reported.
Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City issued its annual spring break security alert. The embassy said "the vast majority of travelers have safe and enjoyable trips" but "spring break travel can sometimes include unforeseen problems."
Those problems include medical emergencies, drowning, unregulated alcohol, sexual assault, drugs, guns and ammunition and arrest for being drunk and disorderly in public, according to the embassy's email.
"Know your drinking companions and stay in a group of friends who have your safety in mind when you are in clubs and bars, out walking in dimly lit areas or in a taxi at night," the embassy said.
Mexico continues to be a popular destination for North American tourists in spite of rising violence and a Level 2 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State because of crime. This level means travelers should "exercise increased caution" when traveling to the country.
The State Department has a specific warning for Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is situated, because of "criminal activity and violence, including homicide," which "remain a primary concern."
"While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens," the travel advisory stated. "Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents."
Cancun is the top international destination for spring breakers, according to insurance company Allianz Global, publishers of a global assistance survey.
In 2018, a wave of drug-related violence in Cancun before spring break caused hotel reservation and flight cancellations and prompted increased presence of Mexican security forces in the beachside city.
Altaii's friends set up a GoFundMe campaign to help his family with funeral costs. It reached its $10,000 goal within the first day.