The Sandals Emerald Bay resort in the evening.
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Authorities Say They've Solved Mystery That Claimed Three Lives At Bahamas Resort

Earlier this month, the unfortunate news broke that three people were found dead in their rooms at the Sandals resort in Exuma.

On May 6, 2022, Florida resident Vincent Chiarella, 64, and Tennessee couple Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, were all reported to have died under mysterious circumstances. A fourth guest, Donnis Chiarella, 65, was admitted into hospital, but ultimately survived.

"On their arrival at the scene they were directed to the first villa," the Royal Bahamian Police Force said in a statement.

A grassy and beachy area with palm trees.
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"On entering a bedroom, they found a Caucasian male laying on the ground unresponsive.

"The officers were then directed to the second villa, where they found a Caucasian male slumped against the wall in a bathroom unresponsive. A Caucasian female was also found in a bedroom on a bed. She too was unresponsive. Both individuals showed signs of convulsion."

Initially, the cause of death was unknown.

The view of the Sandals Emerald Bay pool.
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In a statement, a representative from Sandals said, "A health emergency was initially reported and following our protocols we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities."

"We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests' families in every way possible during this difficult time."

A beach with white sand.
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Investigations were launched at the resort, which covered the food, air conditioning, and water heater. Some guests had even been complaining about the smell of insecticides.

Ultimately, the investigation concluded that the guests died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A view of a resort pool at sunset.
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Police were quick to rule out any foul play or trauma, and toxicology reports were consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning. Bahamas Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said in a statement that the guests had been feeling ill the day before their deaths.

They had all gone to see medics, Rolle stated.

A pool and lounge area with palm trees around it.
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CNN also writes that according to Rolle, each couple had eaten at separate times, in separate places.

The families of the victims had requested that a second autopsy be conducted on them.

Each family has released statements over the deaths of their relatives.

A pool area behind a resort.
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Austin Chiarella, son of Donnis and Vincent, said in a statement that he was heartbroken over his father's death: "My dad was everything to me."

Caroline Phillips Fortenberry, daughter of Michael and Robbie, released a statement as well.

Michael and Robbie Phillips, who unfortunately passed away at a Sandals resort.
Facebook | Michael and Robbie Phillips

"Our hearts are grieving and broken but full of hope. Our parents left a legacy of faith in Jesus and generously loved their family and friends," she said to CNN.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis also released a statement on the matter.

A tropical garden with a pool/fountain next to it.
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According to Unilad, he said, "You know, tourism is the engine and heart of our economy. And when things like this happen, we ought to be concerned about it."

In response to the carbon monoxide poisoning, Sandals has added safety measures to their resorts.

The Sandals Emerald Bay resort as seen in the evening.
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"Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members is and will always be paramount. It is for this reason that we have taken additional measures such as engaging environmental safety experts for a comprehensive review of all systems across the resort," Sandals said in a statement.

They're also committed to installing carbon monoxide detectors.

A Sandals villa as seen at night.
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"In addition, CO detectors have now been placed in all guest rooms at Sandals Emerald Bay and... detectors will be installed in all guest rooms throughout the portfolio," they continued.

"Our entire team is keeping the families in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

h/t: People, CNN