A 41-year-old Chicago woman has ‘mysteriously vanished’ from a plush yoga retreat in The Bahamas months after the state department updated a travel warning for those traveling to the islands amid a violent crime wave in the region. 

Taylor Casey’s mother described herself as ‘deeply concerned’ for her wellbeing in a Facebook page that has been set up to help in the search effort. ‘We love Taylor and want her home,’ Colette Seymore added. 

Casey, who goes by the nickname Cat, was last seen on Wednesday June 19 on Paradise Island, a resort just outside of New Providence also known as Nassau, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement. 

The retreat was described by Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop publication as ‘otherworldly’ as it’s ‘flanked by dense tropical gardens and white-sand beaches.’

In January, the state department upgraded the travel advisory warning for Americans heading to The Bahamas to level two. US citizens are advised to ‘exercise increased caution’ because of rising crime levels. 

New Providence, along with Grand Bahama, was one of the islands highlighted as being potentially dangerous for tourists. 

The missing poster released by police in The Bahamas surrounding the disappearance of Taylor Casey on June 19

The missing poster released by police in The Bahamas surrounding the disappearance of Taylor Casey on June 19

The missing poster released by police in The Bahamas surrounding the disappearance of Taylor Casey on June 19

'Taylor would never disappear like this,' Casey's mother said. She went on to say that her daughter was eager to share what she learned at the retreat with friends

'Taylor would never disappear like this,' Casey's mother said. She went on to say that her daughter was eager to share what she learned at the retreat with friends

‘Taylor would never disappear like this,’ Casey’s mother said. She went on to say that her daughter was eager to share what she learned at the retreat with friends

According to a missing poster, Casey has been a yoga practitioner for 15 years and was at the retreat in order to ‘fulfill a long-term goal of deepening her practice.’ She was traveling alone and arrived on the islands on June 3. 

‘Taylor would never disappear like this,’ Seymore said. She went on to say that her daughter was eager to share what she learned at the retreat with friends in Chicago upon her return. 

Seymore told CNN that she and other family members will travel to The Bahamas on Tuesday to aid in the search effort. 

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas said on Monday that Casey disappeared and that they are working with police officials. 

The alarm was raised when Casey failed to attend the morning session on June 19. The center said she was was last seen the night before. 

‘The Ashram is asking anyone with information on Ms. Casey to contact the local police. In the interim it is collaborating with the authorities on their investigation,’ the center said.   

The Sivananda Yoga organization has similar locations in New York, California, India, France and Austria. 

According to the missing poster, Casey is a ‘light-skinned black woman, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and 145 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has natural hair often covered by a durag.’

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat was described as 'otherwordly' by Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website, Goop

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat was described as 'otherwordly' by Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website, Goop

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat was described as ‘otherwordly’ by Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop

Taylor Casey's mother described herself as 'deeply concerned' for her wellbeing in a Facebook page that has been set up to help in the search effort

Taylor Casey's mother described herself as 'deeply concerned' for her wellbeing in a Facebook page that has been set up to help in the search effort

Taylor Casey’s mother described herself as ‘deeply concerned’ for her wellbeing in a Facebook page that has been set up to help in the search effort

 Casey is a native of Hazel Crest, a Chicago suburb around 20 miles south of the downtown area. 

In the wake of Taylor’s disappearance, CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg blamed the increase in violence in The Bahamas on gang activity. 

‘The reason why the State Department issued that advisory is because of increased gang crimes in The Bahamas. As there are an increased crime situations with gangs in places like Mexico or Jamaica. That does not necessarily mean you can’t go there.’

‘Where trouble happens for any American traveler is when they, let’s say, they go out at night with friends or by themselves in a neighborhood that they don’t know, or they don’t understand or that’s unfamiliar to them and they’re not traveling in a group.’

‘That’s when they can get into some trouble,’ Greenberg added. 

A specific warning for US tourists included taking tours on boats as they’re ‘not consistently regulated.’ 

‘The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands,’ the advisory reads. 

‘Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence.’

Despite the warnings, The Bahamas remains an extremely popular destination for US tourists. Over Spring Break, it was the second most popular destination, travel insurance expert Megan Walch told Chicago’s WGN TV. 

‘Always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t answer your door at your hotel or where you’re staying if you don’t know who it is,’ Walch added. 

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