Healthcare

Police identify Americans who mysteriously died in Bahamas

The Royal Bahamian Police Force (RBPF) on Monday identified three Americans who mysteriously died at an island resort over the weekend.

Commissioner Paul Rolle said Tennessee couple Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, were among the victims who died at the Sandals Resort on the island of Exuma.

A third man, Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, of Florida, was the third tourist who died at the resort, Rolle said at a news conference.

Donnis Chiarella, 65, the wife of Vincent Chiarella, was identified as a fourth victim who was airlifted to a hospital in Miami, where she is recovering.

Rolle said authorities are working with a toxicology lab in Pennsylvania to expedite the testing of samples to determine the cause of the tourists’ deaths, while forensic scientists had collected additional samples from the villas for analysis.

The police commissioner would not comment on whether a suspected coolant leak from an air conditioner may have caused the mysterious deaths.

“We really want to know what caused this without speculation,” Rolle said.

The tourists were found dead inside separate villas on Friday morning. They all appeared to die from an illness, as there was no indication of physical trauma, police reported. Foul play is not suspected.

Police found one man in his bedroom, lying on the ground. A male and female were found in a separate villa, the male “slumped against a wall in a bathroom unresponsive” and the female unresponsive on a bed. Both showed signs of convulsion.

Rolle confirmed on Monday that all four victims had reported feeling sick on Thursday night and were seen by doctors around 11 p.m. before they were discovered the next morning around 9 a.m.

The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism and officials from the U.S. Embassy are all assisting with an investigation into the mysterious deaths, the Office of the Prime Minister said.

Additionally, the U.S. State Department is monitoring the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Eyewitness News, a local outlet in the Bahamas, spoke to Minister of Health and Wellness Michael Darville, who said the deaths were likely an “isolated case associated in a particular area.”

“We believe it’s an isolated situation that revolves around the four people that were impacted,” Darville told the outlet.

Donnis Chiarella is in stable condition at Kendall Regional Facility in Florida, Eyewitness News confirmed, but she reportedly woke up screaming for help with swollen arms and legs and couldn’t move.

Tags American tourists Bahamas Deaths Mysterious illness Sandals Resort The Bahamas tourists

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