The deaths of three Americans at a resort in the Bahamas several weeks ago were attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said Monday.
Toxicology and autopsy reports for the Americans—Michael and Robbie Phillips and Vincent Chiarella—were released Monday. Carbon monoxide, a tasteless and odorless gas, was flagged as their cause of death at the Sandals hotel, officials told the Nassau Guardian
, without providing any more additional information.
The three died under mysterious circumstances at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort on May 6 while staying in separate rooms. They were allegedly found unresponsive, although Chiarella's wife, Donnis, was hospitalized in critical condition but later recovered.
“There’s still some investigations ongoing at the Sandals resort. We also have the pathologists in-country who have done their job and samples were sent to a very reliable lab in the United States,” Dr. Michael Darville, the minister of health for the Bahamas, told Eyewitness News
None of the three who died showed signs of trauma, according to the Royal Bahamian Police. Officials ruled out foul play earlier this month.
The families of the dead Americans reportedly
have demanded a second investigation and another autopsy. Investigators had also been looking into whether food poisoning played a role as well as reports of a "strong odor" of insecticides at the Sandals resort.
“I do not know exactly how far it has gone, but we are willing to assist anyone who wants to get to the bottom of their loved one’s [death],” Darville remarked. “And so, those requests are being entertained. I’m not sure exactly where they are at this point.”
Two days after their deaths were reported, the U.S. Department of State issued
a statement that it is "closely monitoring" the situation.
“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,” an agency spokesperson said at the time.
Meanwhile, the son of the Chiarella couple told local media that they were in the Bahamas to celebrate their wedding anniversary. On the day Vincent Chiarella was found dead, Donnis Chiarella had woken up to discover that “she couldn’t move” and that her husband “was laying on the floor," Austin Chiarella said
“Her legs and arms [were] swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door,” he added