MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Did a tourist from Jackson, Michigan fall from a third floor balcony at a boutique hotel on South Beach?
Perhaps, only she knows.
The family of 26-year-old India Simms says she’s unable to speak as she’s rested with the help of a breathing ventilator at the Ryder Trauma Center since May 6th, when she was found barely conscious on the sidewalk outside the hotel.
No one saw her fall, no nearby security cameras captured anything on tape, but neighbors who live in the surrounding buildings say they heard a thud early that morning before the sun came up.
Simms was found sprawled out on the sidewalk by friends she had come to Miami with, who were returning to the hotel about 4 a.m. from a night of partying.
Family friend Tyran Stockyard, who police say spotted her on the ground, reportedly found her sluggish and intoxicated, and then helped carry her back to the room the group was sharing.
That’s when police say they friends and family noticed she was bleeding from her wrist.
Stockyard saidhe and India’s mother decided to Google the nearest emergency room and drove her there in their rental car.
However, doctors at Mt. Sinai Hospital quickly determined India would need a higher level of care, as their first check in the ER revealed she had suffered a serious brain injury, a spinal cord injury, and broken ribs.
Miami Beach Fire Rescue moved Simms to the Ryder Trauma Center later that day, where she has been ever since, unresponsive.
Simm’s Aunt, Angela Union, drove to Miami from Michigan to help out at the hospital.
“We have no idea what really happened,” she said. “Only a guess. We’re just baffled.”
Simms’ younger sister Asia, who had gone to bed in the same hotel room earlier that night, said she heard nothing and was awakened by Stockyard coming in with her injured sister.
Later, she claims India’s cell phone was missing but her purse was still in the hotel room.
Asia says police have told the family they are treating this as an accident.
The Sense Hotel declined comment on the matter, saying only that they cooperated with police on the day the incident happened and had no further information.
India Simms has a 9 year old daughter back in Michigan who is worried sick about her mother. Family members brought a Mother’s Day card the daughter had written for her and read it out loud in the intensive care unit at her bedside, hoping India could hear it.
The family has been told India can expect at least another 90 days in the hospital in South Florida. They’re currently looking for an apartment to rent near Jackson as they tell us they’re having financial problems at the moment.
“It’s very hard,” said Angela Union, “We don’t know what to do. This is an unfamiliar city. I just can’t leave my niece like this.”