Officials in the Bahamas confirmed the identities of three American tourists who were found dead a the Sandals Emerald Bay over the past weekend.
The Bahamas Commissioner of Police, Paul Rolle, said Monday that Robbie Phillips, 65, and Michael Phillips, 68, were two of the three who died. Rolle also confirmed previous reports that Vincent Chiarella, 64, was the other who died, and that Chiarella’s wife, Donnis Chiarella, 65, was hospitalized.
Speaking at a press conference, Rolle said that blood samples were taken from the victims and will be sent to a laboratory in the United States in an attempt to determine the causes of death. Autopsy results are still pending, he told reporters.
Authorities are still attempting to determine the official causes of deaths, but tourism minister Chester Cooper has said that “foul play isn’t suspect” in comments made to reporters.
The Chiarellas’ son, Austin Chiarella, confirmed to media outlets Sunday that his father was one of the three who died and that his mother was taken to the hospital. He said that his father was found dead on their hotel room floor while his mother was in bed and couldn’t move because her arms and legs were swollen.
“Her legs and arms [were] swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door,” he told ABC. The couple was spending time at the resort to celebrate their wedding anniversary, Chiarella added.
The Sandals Resort told news outlets previously that “it is with deep sadness that we can confirm the passing of three guests at Sandals Emerald Bay on May 6, 2022.”
“A health emergency was initially reported and following our protocols we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities,” the hotel added. “We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests’ families in every way possible during this difficult time.”
The U.S. Department of State on Saturday said it is monitoring reports that the three American citizens died.
“We can confirm the death of three U.S. citizens in the Bahamas. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we have nothing further to add at this time,” a spokesperson for the agency told news outlets.
Bahamian Health Minister Dr. Michael Darville over the weekend told local media that the resort guests sought treatment for nausea and vomiting a day before the three people were found dead.
“We feel that what we are seeing is an isolated case associated in a particular area,” he said.