Sandals resort case: Cause of death revealed for 3 Americans found mysteriously dead in Bahamas

Sandals resort case: Cause of death revealed for 3 Americans found mysteriously dead in Bahamas
Michael and Robbie Phillips were among the victims found dead at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort (Robbie Phillips/Facebook, Sandals Emerald Bay/Facebook)

The three Americans who were found dead at a Bahamas resort under mysterious circumstances earlier this month died from carbon monoxide poisoning, a new report has found. Autopsy and toxicology reports have been completed following the deaths of Tennessee couple Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, and Florida resident Vincent Chiarella, 64.

After the deaths, there were speculations that the tragedy may have been caused by leaks from the air conditioning. In fact, there has been an ongoing investigation into the food that was served at the resort. There were guests who also complained of a strong smell of insecticides. Carbon monoxide poisoning, however, has been determined as the cause of death now, the Nassau Guardian reported. 


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Besides the three people who died, one person had to be hospitalized after the tragedy that took place at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort on Exuma. On May 6, hotel staff called authorities around 9 am after they found a guest unresponsive in one of the beachfront hotel’s villas. A local doctor pronounced the man, Vincent, dead. He was found lying on a bedroom floor with no sign of trauma. In a separate villa, the other man, Michael, was found unresponsive, slumped against a bathroom wall. On a bed lay Robbie, unresponsive. Neither showed signs of trauma, but both had reportedly suffered a convulsion.

Police said that the previous night, the couple found in the second villa had complained of feeling sick. They were treated at a medical facility, following which they returned to the hotel. In a statement, Sandals Emerald Bay said that they had immediately alerted emergency medical services and authorities of a “health emergency.” “We are actively working to support both the investigation and the guests’ families in every way possible during this difficult time. Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot disclose further information at this time,” the statement said.


At the time, Chester Cooper, the Bahamas acting prime minister, had confirmed that no foul play was suspected. Cooper, who is also the nation’s tourism minister, had said in a statement, "Police are investigating and the cause of death is still unknown. However, I am advised that foul play is not suspected. I have asked Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville to lead a delegation this evening to Exuma of Health and Wellness, Environment and Public Works officials. The public will be kept abreast of information as soon as it becomes available. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the families affected."

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