LAS VEGAS (AP) -- An employee who was found frozen and dead inside a liquid nitrogen chamber used for cryotherapy treatments at a Las Vegas spa liked working there so much that she posed for promotional photos, her uncle said.
Chelsea Patricia Ake-Salvacion, 24, was passionate about the treatment that subjects users to frigid conditions for a minute or two to relieve pain and other conditions.
She planned to spend another year working at Rejuvenice Cryotherapy before opening a similar business of her own in Hawaii, her uncle, Albert Ake, said Tuesday.
"She was a good spirit and loved everyone," Ake said. "She had the true aloha spirit. Aloha is love."
But something went wrong when Ake-Salvacion went in for her own treatment last week, leaving her dead alone inside the chamber the size of a phone booth.
She had texted her boyfriend that she was taking a treatment herself after the store closed, Ake said. She also was seen on security video locking the salon, he said.
She was found dead the next morning, Oct. 20, after a co-worker arrived and noticed Ake-Salvacion's car in the parking lot and her belongings in the business.
"When they found her, she was rock solid frozen," the uncle said in a telephone interview from his home in Reno.
What killed Ake-Salvacion hasn't been determined. But her death pointed to possible dangers in an increasingly popular but largely unregulated treatment favored by celebrities and sports stars. Athletes who have long used ice baths to ease their aches have turned to whole body cryotherapy as a quicker way to recover after exercise or competition.
Police found nothing suspicious, and the police case was closed without a criminal investigation. The Clark County coroner said determining Ake-Salvacion's cause of death will await the results of toxicology tests in coming weeks.
Nevada Occupational Safety and Health investigators said Ake-Salvacion should not have been using the cryotherapy chamber after hours for personal use.
Associated Press researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.