Minnesota veteran who died at Cancun resort may have fallen from balcony, friend says

An Iraq war veteran died at a Cancun resort while on vacation. Photo: GoFundMe
An Iraq war veteran died at a Cancun resort while on vacation. Photo: GoFundMe

Cancun, Quintana Roo — The friend of a Minnesota man who died Sunday while on vacation in Mexico now says it’s possible his injuries may have been caused by a fall from a balcony.

Iraq war veteran Artem Moskovkin, 30, was found unconscious Saturday morning in a garden area near his resort.

On Monday, Igor Sapego, Artem’s friend who was with him on vacation, said resort staff believes Artem fell from his third-story hotel balcony and crawled to the spot where he was found. And after staff showed Sapego photos of what they found Saturday morning, he believes that scenario is possible.

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Sapego said Artem was found in a garden with bushes and trees at least 30 feet from the building. But Sapego said the spot where Artem’s pants were found supports the theory that they may have come off if he was crawling while injured and disoriented after the fall. 

The autopsy has not been released and police still haven’t gone to the resort to investigate, but the hotel staff have done some investigating of their own, Sapego told a Minnesota television station.

Artem’s brother, who flew down to Mexico after the incident, also changed his mind about what might have happened.

“It all looks like there is no foul play in this,” Artem’s brother Sergey Moskovkin said on Monday.

Sapego hasn’t ruled out foul play, but now says he now believes it’s possible a fall caused the injuries. 

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Artem was staying at the Iberostar Selection Paraíso Maya, an all-inclusive resort on the Riviera Maya.

Sapego says it was the first vacation the 30-year-old had ever taken.

Sapego was the last one to see Moskovkin Friday night, having drinks on this hotel balcony in Moskovin’s room. 

“I kissed him on the forehead, said bye, see you tomorrow, and that was it,” Sapego said.

Moskovkin’s friends started a GoFundMe page — now a funeral fundraiser page — after a private hospital demanded US$8,000 to $10,000 in advance of treatment.

Family didn’t know whether to believe the terse message they received from the hospital.

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“I mean the message was very very short. Said ‘hey your brother is in the hospital, we need 8,000 dollars to do anything.’ So his brothers didn’t know if it was a scam or the real thing,” Sapego said.

Without the immediate payment, Sapego said Moskovkin was transferred to a public hospital, where a day later he died.

“If they would have done something immediately, I think he would have still been alive,” Sapego said.

The U.S. State Department warns that many people have filed complaints about private hospitals requiring payment up front, with exorbitant prices and inflexible collection measures.

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Moskovkin’s brother told the television station that Artem had broken ribs, punctured lungs, and it looked like blood was no longer flowing to one leg.

Source: KARE 11 News, Minneapolis

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