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American tourist found dead on scenic Greek island identified

Written by on June 18, 2024

American tourist found dead on scenic Greek island identified
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(GREECE) — An American tourist found dead over the weekend on a beach on the Greek Island of Mathraki has been identified by authorities.

Toby Sheets, a 55-year-old New Yorker, died from drowning, Ioannis Aivatidis, the coroner in Corfu, Greece, who performed the autopsy, told ABC News on Tuesday.

The U.S. Embassy in Greece was working to facilitate the transfer of Sheets’ body back to the United States.

Sheets, of Long Island, New York, worked at an American thoroughbred racehorse trainer and was the former assistant to famed racehorse trainer Steve Asmussen, the Thoroughbred Daily News, which covers the horse racing industry, reported on Tuesday.

“Toby was a part of our stable for many years… He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends,” Asmussen told the Thoroughbred Daily News, adding that Sheets was involved in the training of Creator, the horse that won that 2016 Belmont Stakes.

Sheets is the latest in a series of foreign tourists found dead or reported missing in the scenic vacation paradise in the past week, authorities said.

His remains were discovered at about 1:30 p.m. local time Sunday on a beach near the old port of Mathraki Island, the president of the community of Mathraki Island told ABC News.

Sheets was last seen alive on June 11 at a tavern in Mathraki, west of Corfu Island, where he was staying with a Greek American friend, investigators told ABC News.

The friend called the police after he returned home Thursday and found the door of the house open, the lights on, and the air conditioning unit running, but no sign of Sheets or his identification and travel documents, according to investigators.

Mathraki has no police station or coast guard. Law enforcement officers from Corfu were called in to assist with the investigation.

It marked the second time in a week that an American tourist had been reported missing on the Greek Isles.

A search continued Tuesday for a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who also went missing on June 11 on the Greek Island of Amorgos, officials said. The retired deputy, identified by Greek authorities as 59-year-old Albert Calibet of Hermosa Beach, California, was reported missing when he failed to return from a hike, officials said.

Drone video obtained by ABC Los Angeles station KABC showed rescue crews searching the rocky terrain where they believed Calibet was hiking.

“We’re sick to our stomachs, knowing he’s out there somewhere,” Calibet’s girlfriend, Debbie Leshane, told KABC.

Leshane said Calibet called her just before leaving to go on a hike. She said they spoke for about six minutes and that Calibet later sent her a photo about 9:20 a.m. local time Tuesday from the trailhead sign. She said that was the last she heard from him.

On Tuesday, K-9 units were brought to Amorgos to assist in the search for Calibet, local police told ABC News.

On Saturday, a missing 74-year-old Dutch tourist was found dead on the eastern Greek island of Samos, according to The Associated Press.

The body of the Dutch tourist, whose name has not been released, was discovered by firefighters using a drone. He was found lying face down in a ravine 330 yards from the spot where he was last seen walking. The cause of the Dutch tourist’s death has not been disclosed.

Officials said the Dutch tourist was reported by observers to be having some difficulty hiking in the triple-digit heat that has enveloped the islands.

Some of the five tourists missing or found dead were believed to have been hiking during a heatwave that has enveloped Greece with triple-digit temperatures and caused the deaths of several people from heat stroke, authorities said.

On June 9, Michael Mosley, a noted British TV anchor and author, was found dead on the the island of Symi. A coroner concluded that the 67-year-old Mosley died from natural causes around June 5, shortly after going for a hike over treacherous, rocky terrain, the BBC reported. Konstantia Dimoglidou, a spokesperson for the Greek police, told the BBC that an autopsy found no trauma on his body that could have caused his death.



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