Mystery in Mexico: Who Attacked NYC Teacher While On Solo Vacation in 2018?

Three years after Lauren Kassirer’s death, her family is speaking out about what they believe is a coverup by Mexican authorities. Inside Edition Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero visits Kassirer’s vacation rental to investigate.

In 2018, a New York high school teacher traveled alone to Mexico for what should have been her dream vacation. Then, Lauren Kassirer, 35, was found close to death in her villa, flown back to the U.S. in a coma and later died.

“She was beaten. She was raped. She was left for dead,” Lauren’s dad, Eli Kassirer, told Inside Edition.

Three years later, there have been no arrests and no suspects have been named. Her father believes the Mexican authorities botched the investigation. 

“In my view, there was clearly a coverup,” Eli Kassirer said.

Inside Edition’s investigative team traveled to Mexico and rented the same lavish villa where Lauren Kassirer was attacked.

According to text messages Lauren Kassirer sent her close friend, she immediately became creeped out by the villa's property manager. She said he was hitting on her and watching her from a window as she swam and sunbathed by the pool.

“Lauren seemed pretty terrified,” Amanda Cadwallader told Inside Edition.

“He offered her a drink and to take her up on the roof and watch the stars. Lauren just didn't feel right about it, and she said she was going to lock herself in the room for that night until the next morning,” Cadwallader continued.

That same night, Lauren Kassirer was seen on security footage having dinner right by the villa, but then, the video mysteriously turns green.

What happened next remains a mystery. It’s a short, but dark walk from the restaurant to the villa where the suspected attack took place.

The next day, she was discovered in her room. 

The maid reportedly found Lauren Kassirer lying on the floor naked and unconscious. But instead of calling police, investigators say the maid and the property manager washed and dressed her while a local doctor was called.

Lauren’s Mexican hospital records show “probable sexual assault” and “severe brain trauma.”

Private investigator William Acosta has been hired by Lauren Kassirer's family.

"There's bruises all over her body, there's a ligature mark on her arm, there is scratches,” Acosta said.

Acosta says cellphone video shows scratches on the arm of the property manager, David Chavez, while he was speaking with the police.

“The property manager, the guy Lauren was afraid of — terrified of — you could see scratches going down his arm. Nobody, not the police or anyone, questioned or documented those scratches,” Acosta said.

The property manager has not been named a suspect or charged with any crime. Inside Edition searched for him, but employees we spoke to told us he moved to Switzerland. He was unable to be reached for comment.

Lauren Kassirer rented the villa through Airbnb. The company told Inside Edition that the property has been “permanently banned” from their site.

But it is still being rented on other travel sites.

Now Lauren’s father says, with so many unanswered questions, he fears they’ll never get any real answers from the Mexican authorities. 

“I can tell you, in Mexico, they could care less about my daughter,” Eli said.

The owner of the villa says there was no evidence of a break-in or a crime, adding they fully cooperated with authorities.

Airbnb says the attack on Lauren Kassirer "was horrific" and they are committed to providing a safe experience, especially for women traveling alone, and that serious safety incidents are exceptionally rare on their platform.

Related Stories