BAHAMAS – A Florida man and a Tennessee married couple have been identified as the individuals discovered dead at a resort in the Bahamas under circumstances that have been deemed “mysterious” by local authorities, who have sent samples collected from their respective rooms to a lab based in the United States to determine if potential contaminants were involved.
“We really want to know what caused this,” said Bahamas Police Commissioner Paul Rolle at a press conference on Monday.
Rolle confirmed that the victims – Michael Phillips, 68, and wife Robbie Phillips, 65, of Tennessee, and Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, of Florida – were found deceased Friday morning at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma, where they had been staying in separate villas.
Chiarella’s wife, Donnis, survived, and was airlifted to Miami’s HCA Florida Kendall Hospital where she remains in serious condition.
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Michael and Robbie Phillips, who lived in Maryville, owned a Royal Travel agency and had just left a highly positive Facebook review of the resort where he unfortunately took his last breath.
“If you want the most beautiful long private beach with clear blue water and you like to hear the waves lapping, see sand dunes and hear the seagulls talking — this is it!” Robbie said
The Phillips’ would often book vacations for their clients at various Sandals resorts, reports say.
The Phillips are survived by three adult children and six grandchildren.
The samples taken from the two rooms are being examined at a laboratory in Philadelphia, Rolle said, with a toxicology report expected to be delivered within a week’s time; when asked what the potential cause of death of the tourists was, he replied, “I’m not going to speculate.”
However, Rolle stated that both couples had complained of feeling ill the night before and all four had visited a doctor; when looking for a common thread the Police Commissioner was at a loss, noting that all of the victims had eaten different things Thursday evening and had visited the doctor at different times.