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Mystery surrounding the suicide of sisters Susan Frazier and Lila Ammouri

Cal Ammouri says he’s as shocked as everyone his sisters are gone forever.

He is the sole surviving brother of two Arizona women who died under mysterious circumstances at an assisted suicide clinic in Basel, Switzerland, last month.

Ammouri – who lives in a small fourth-floor walk-up in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood – said he never visited the upscale Cave Creek, a suburb north of Phoenix where his two savvy sisters lived together for years before they left last month left house. apparently to die.

But Cal, who is 60 and said he works in IT, claimed they were on the phone and said he was flabbergasted by their apparent decision to check into Pegasos, one of the few suicide clinics in the world that will help people kill themselves, even if you are in the best of health.

The women, Lila Ammouri, 54, and Susan Ammouri Frazier, 46, are believed to have each paid $11,000 to end their lives. In contrast to other suicide help organizations in Switzerland such as Dignitas and Exit, Pegasos, founded in 2019, accepts requests from people who are not terminally ill.

“I am absolutely devastated and have no idea why they did this,” Ammouri told The Post on Friday. “You were so secretive, especially to me. Can someone tell me what happened? Do people snap like that? It could be. You wake up one day and you don’t feel like life is precious.”

Lila Ammouri, 54, and Susan Ammouri Frazier, 46, are believed to have each paid $11,000 to end their lives in Switzerland.
Lila Ammouri, 54, and Susan Ammouri Frazier, 46, are believed to have each paid $11,000 to end their lives in Switzerland.

Lila, a palliative care physician, and Susan, a registered nurse, appeared to have flown from Phoenix to Orlando, Fla. and then on to Zurich on Feb. 3 without telling family or friends for details, a Phoenix police source told The Post.

The Pegasos Clinic is as mysterious as Cal Ammouri said his sisters were. The physical address of the clinic is closely guarded. She employs a company called Coll-Control in Basel to take her mail.

At first, friends and colleagues of the Ammouri sisters, who both worked for Aetna Health Care, sounded the alarm when the women stopped returning to work. You should be back from vacation on February 13th. A Facebook group has been set up to help locate them.

A friend, cardiologist David Biglari, told Fox10 in Phoenix on March 17 that he and others were concerned foul play was involved.

Cal Ammouri, the siblings' brother, is shocked by their actions.
Cal Ammouri, the siblings’ brother, is shocked by their actions.
Dana Kennedy

Biglari said no one had heard from the sisters since an email was sent from a work laptop on February 9. Then the next day a colleague received a text message, allegedly from one of the sisters. But Biglari said the text contained spelling mistakes and he believes it was sent by someone pretending to be Lila or Susan.

“We’re sure some of the text messages they had weren’t from them,” Biglari said. “They were most likely fabricated with someone else.”

He said that prior to the trip, he and others had seen no indication that anything was troubling any of the sisters.

“They were in a very good position of their lives in terms of their careers and what they have achieved and achieved and there is no reason for them not to come back of their own accord,” Biglari added.

Pegasos was founded in 2019 and is the only VAD organization in Switzerland that accepts applications from the non-terminally ill.
Pegasos was founded in 2019 and is the only VAD organization in Switzerland that accepts applications from the non-terminally ill.
Pegasos Swiss Association

After questions from colleagues of the sisters and an Arizona congressman, U.S. Consulate officials finally confirmed on March 23 that the sisters had died last month.

The public prosecutor’s office in Basel-Landschaft said the sisters had ended their lives “within the legal framework” in Switzerland

Selinda Staggers, a medical assistant who worked remotely with Lila for four years, said staff “jaws dropped and everyone went silent” when a supervisor told them the doctor had died, but didn’t say how.

“She was the kindest, sweetest person,” Staggers said. “Always asked me about myself. She was very normal, very nice, very professional.”

Pegasos is based in Basel, Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.
Pegasos is based in Basel, Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.
Shutterstock

Staggers said she saw no signs that Lila was physically ill or depressed and was amazed to learn she had gone to Switzerland to die.

Biglari told the Post Thursday that he doesn’t know what to think now that he knows the sisters committed suicide.

“We still need answers,” he said.

Cal Ammouri says he also wants answers and is frustrated by his discussions with Swiss consular officials, who he said have given him very little information.

The Pegasos Clinic has not responded to an email from The Post asking for comment.

The Daily Mail reported last week that Lili Ammouri had invested her $1 million home in a family trust fund on January 25, an arrangement that allowed the home to be transferred to a family without going through the traditional legal process to Evidence that they are heirs to the property.

The women were initially considered missing because they kept their actions secret.
The women were initially considered missing because they kept their actions secret.
FOX 10 News

Ammouri says he is her only blood relative but knows nothing about the transfer of ownership.

He also swears there were no dark family secrets that he or his sisters have been hiding over the years, nor was there any abuse in the family. But he admitted he hadn’t seen his sisters in at least 30 years.

“I won’t stop until I find out what happened.”

Cal Ammouri trying to find out the circumstances of his sister’s death

Like Cal Ammouri, his sisters were childless. Lila had never married, but Susan was briefly married, then divorced, from a man who was abusive, according to Cal, and a friend of the sisters, who asked not to be publicly identified.

“I don’t know why she was ever with him,” Ammouri said. “You can’t just marry the first man that comes along.”

Cal said he and Lila were born in Chicago and their parents later moved to Lincoln, Neb., where Susan was born. Her father, Andrew, was a microbiologist graduating from South Dakota State, Cal said.

At some point, Cal’s parents split up, he said. He and Andrew moved to New York, where the father worked for a city laboratory. His sisters and their mother moved to Arizona.

Faye Ammouri died in 2011 at the age of 75, but no records were immediately available to suggest Andrew’s death. Cal said his father died “sometime in the last five years,” but was vague. Andrew had lived at the same address as Cal, who was speaking to a Post reporter outside his apartment.

A colleague who received a text message from one of the women does not believe it came from her.
A colleague who received a text message from one of the women does not believe it came from her.
FOX 10 News

Cal said Lila called him on February 10 but didn’t say she was in Switzerland and that she sounded normal. A Swiss government official told The Post on condition of anonymity that the sisters died on February 11.

According to Cal, the call came from Lila’s known Arizona number. However, earlier this week he told The Independent that he last spoke to his sisters in early January.

“I begged them to call me every week, but they almost never did,” Ammouri said. “I had to be very careful how I spoke to them. One slip and it was, ‘Oh boy.’”

Australian and American documentaries about patients who previously traveled to Pegasos to die offer a rare glimpse inside the clinic. The rooms have concrete block walls painted white as well as what appears to be a wall-mounted rug.

The physical address of the Pegasos Clinic is closely guarded.
The physical address of the Pegasos Clinic is closely guarded.
Shutterstock

The clinic allows pets in the rooms to comfort the dying and lets patients choose music to accompany their final moments.

When the time comes, patients are instructed to kill themselves by choosing between a lethal drink or death by IV drip. A doctor will put the patient on the IV drip to make sure the needle is inserted properly, but the patient has to press a notch to allow the contents to flow into their body themselves.

A third party must be there to confirm and identify the person after death. Pegasos advises patients who don’t have a witness to contact another euthanasia organization called Exit for help. It’s unclear who served as a witness for the Ammouri sisters, but their brother is hoping to find out more.

“I won’t stop until I find out what happened,” Cal said. He pointed down the apartment’s stairwell toward the building’s mailboxes.

“I still hope to get a letter with an explanation from them.”

Additional reporting by Alexandra Williams

https://nypost.com/2022/03/26/mystery-of-sisters-susan-frazier-and-lila-ammouris-suicide/ Mystery surrounding the suicide of sisters Susan Frazier and Lila Ammouri

JACLYN DIAZ

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