THE mystery of the death of a Long Island woman found strangled at a resort has taken a shocking new twist over three and a half years later.

Marie Kuhnla’s body was found in a remote area of Club Med in the Turks and Caicos Islands and now the government is re-examining her death.

Marie Kuhnla was found strangled to death in a remote area of Club Med over three years ago

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Marie Kuhnla was found strangled to death in a remote area of Club Med over three years agoCredit: Family Handout
An inquest was made in her death by the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands in what her family believes to be a cover-up

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An inquest was made in her death by the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands in what her family believes to be a cover-upCredit: NBC

The woman’s family is asking questions as to why the new inquest is being made, however, island officials have not made any comments on the matter.

Yet, the family believes it’s no coincidence the decision was made in the middle of their $10million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against Club Med.

The hearing, known as a coroner’s inquest, began Tuesday. Kuhnla’s son, Rick Kuhnla Jr, said his mother’s death was not accidental.

“It was a violent homicide and anything else suggesting it wasn’t is a lie,”

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The wife and mother had visited Club Med in Turks and Caicos in the fall of 2018 with two fellow attorneys from Suffolk County Legal Aid.

She was last seen alive when she left the pool to go to her room just a few days into the trip. 

A day and a half later, her body was discovered in a bush on a remote section of the report. However, Island police first stated that Kuhnla was found near the resort, not on it.

Her family believes there is an ongoing cover-up of the woman’s death.

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“The authorities and the police just treat us like a nuisance, like ‘Why are these people asking, like why are they emailing us again and again and again,” said Kuhnla Jr.

Her death was ruled as a homicide from manual strangulation but the family said they couldn’t get the autopsy for nearly three years.

The medical examiner found a diffuse hemorrhage in her head, a fractured rib, bruising near her lower body and dirt in her mouth and upper airway.

“It wasn’t just a manual strangulation from behind, this woman was beat up,” said Edward Dowd, an investigator hired by the Kuhnla family.

The day Kuhnla’s body was found, Helma Hermans, who accompanied the woman on the trip, told police she believed another guest, also from Long Island and a Club Med employee, might have been responsible.

Hermans pointed the finger at Frank Yacullo Jr, who she claims sexually groped her when she complained to resort staff.

“I wasn’t the first to complain and I wasn’t the last. There were multiple complaints about him and they did nothing,” said Hermans.

Island police arrested Yacullo on the sexual assault accusations. He was released on $10,000 bail posted by an unidentified resident. 

Yacullo denied any wrongdoing and prosecutors declined to pursue Hermans’ complaint.

“I think they are covering for him,” she said.

Yacullo is named along with Club Med in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family. He pleaded the fifth in depositions.

“I think the authorities don’t want the truth to come out, tourism is a big industry here and Club Med is a powerful company,” said Kuhnla Jr.

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The medical examiner is expected to testify Wednesday. He alleged that Kuhnla’s body was intentionally mishandled at the morgue in a sworn statement.

“The world is watching,” said Hermans. “If they’re afraid of bad publicity for their island it can’t get much worse than this.”

Her family has pointed the finger at a man named Frank Yacullo Jr but prosecutors denied pursuing the complaint

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Her family has pointed the finger at a man named Frank Yacullo Jr but prosecutors denied pursuing the complaintCredit: Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
'I think the authorities don’t want the truth to come out,' said Kuhnla's son

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‘I think the authorities don’t want the truth to come out,’ said Kuhnla’s sonCredit: Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force

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