Mysterious Deaths of American Tourists Spark Concerns


Autopsies are scheduled for three American tourists discovered dead in their Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas resort villas. The official cause of death is expected to involve some sort of chemical exposure but initial reports that it came from an air conditioning unit have not been confirmed.

Autopsies under way

As related by Paul Rolle, the Bahamian police commissioner on Great Exuma island, their pathologist consented to the autopsies on Monday. He promises full details as soon as the results come in. Everyone wants to know the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three Americans. That sort of thing is terrible for business. This is the yacht-set Bahamas, not the cartel controlled Mexican Riviera.

There are several big questions for the coroner doing the autopsies but the one everyone wants the answer to first is how the victims died. It’s been revealed in updates that two of the Americans were from Tennessee. Michael Phillips, 68, and his 65-year-old wife, Robbie Phillips. The third fatality, from Florida had been previously identified by his son as 64-year-old Vincent Paul Chiarella. Mrs. Donnis Chiarella, age 65 is currently listed in fair condition at Miami’s Kendall Hospital.

According to son Austin Chiarella, his mother “woke up and my dad was laying there on the floor, and she couldn’t move. Her legs and arms was swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door.” Until the autopsies come in, all the public has to go on are reports of something coming through the air conditioning and notes that all of the victims had been examined for discomfort, only a few hours before they were discovered.

Ill Thursday night

Donnis Chiarella called her son to tell him that “she became ill Thursday” but after “she was released from a clinic,” she “thought she was alright.” The police aren’t saying anything helpful at this point. “Rolle declined to answer specific questions from reporters Monday about whether authorities are pursing specific leads, only saying several samples have been collected from the premises and their forensic examination should help determine if any chemicals were present.” There is no word on results from the autopsies at this time.

It is known that as part of the autopsies, officials extracted samples and sent them to a U.S. lab for faster processing. Along with samples of bodily fluids and tissue, police included samples from the rooms where the tourists were staying. American guests at the resort note that the staff has been “kind of just hush-hush” about the whole thing. Sydney Rosenquist and Chasen Toth are there from Arizona on their honeymoon.

It is a scary feeling being here right now,” Sydney notes. “And it’s a little uncomfortable for both of us … I want this to be the happiest time in my life, but it’s kind of hard, though, just with the situation that is going on.” It’s no fun to hear talk of autopsies floating around your honeymoon paradise. It turns out that all three of the deceased “had earlier sought medical treatment because they were feeling unwell.


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