Stefanie Smith: Cause of Death of Indiana Mom-of-Two Who Died Suddenly on Flight Home from Dominican Republic after Vacation Revealed

The autopsy result has now confirmed that Stefanie Smith died from carotid artery dissection in her neck.

The woman who died suddenly during her flight back to Indiana after a vacation in the Dominican Republic had suffered a tragic medical issue. Stefanie Smith, 41, died from a carotid artery dissection in her neck on February 28, her family was told by a forensic pathologist, her brother Chris Volz told ABC News on Wednesday.

He described the incident as "truly a tragic medical event" and assured that the autopsy findings indicate no indication of foul play. Smith and her boyfriend had joined their close friends Maria Yannotti, 36, and Clay Sharpe, 43, for a five-night stay at the all-inclusive Iberostar Grand Bavaro resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Unexpected Death, Strange Cause

Stefanie Smith
Stefanie Smith X

However, the romantic couples' retreat took a tragic turn mere minutes into her return flight when she began convulsing. The American Airlines plane made an emergency diversion to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she was pronounced dead.

Volz previously said that he was unaware of his sister having any preexisting health conditions. Her friend Yannotti also claimed that Smith appeared to be in good health throughout their vacation, as she used the hotel gym and went for runs along the beach.

Stefanie Smith
Stefanie Smith with her two children X

However, the autopsy result has now confirmed that Smith died from carotid artery dissection in her neck. "It was truly a tragic medical event that happened," Smith's brother Chris Volz told ABC News.

The condition can compromise blood flow to the brain and potentially result in a stroke, as the National Institutes of Health said.

The mysterious death of the seemingly healthy mother of two, which had puzzled her family members and the public at large after gaining attention earlier this month, was determined to have no involvement of foul play.

Stefanie Smith
Stefanie Smith with her daughter X

Smith's death comes as a shock to her family and friends as no one had foreseen the tragedy. "Stefanie was a ball of energy and personality. She was so much fun to be around. She could make anyone smile," Yannotti told last week.

"What's happened is just devastating for everyone. We don't know if it was just a freak accident or something more. Until we get the autopsy back it's just a complete mystery."

Truly Tragic

Smith, a graduate of IUPUI, and her partner, who has requested anonymity, traveled to Punta Cana on February 23, where they met up with Sharpe and Yannotti during their layover in Miami.

Stefanie Smith
Stefanie Smith with her friend Maria Yannotti X

The couples arranged separate accommodations at the Grand Bavaro, an adults-only resort offering luxurious amenities such as three pools, a golf course, private butlers, and personal trainers.

"We didn't leave the resort the whole time, there was no need to," remarked Yannotti, who had previously visited the Grand Bavaro multiple times. Rooms at the resort start at a rate of $690 per night.

On the last day of their stay, they left from the beach around 5 pm, returned to their respective rooms to freshen up, and met up at El Galeon, an upscale surf and turf restaurant located on-site.

Stefanie Smith
Stefanie Smith with her friend Maria Yannotti X

Shortly after boarding her flight to the United States, Smith began convulsing while seated. The plane was rerouted to Turks and Caicos, where she was declared dead upon arrival at a hospital.

Volz told the network that her body was expected to be returned to the United States next week.

Smith is survived by her 18-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter.