United States lab sent samples to help solve mystery deaths of three American tourists in Bahamas

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Officials confirmed on Monday that samples extracted from three American tourists who died at a resort in the Bahamas under mysterious circumstances have been sent to a lab in the United States, to expedite results and help authorities understand what happened.

Paul Rolle, the police commissioner of the Bahamas, stated that the police have also collected samples from the rooms where the tourists were staying and the surrounding property to determine whether any contaminants were present, saying: “We really want to know what caused this.”  Police Commissioner Rolle identified the victims as Michael Phillips, 68, and wife Robbie Phillips, 65, of Tennessee, and Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, of Florida.  Chiarella’s wife, Donnis, was airlifted to a hospital in Florida and remains in serious condition, Rolle said. Their bodies of the three victims were found Friday morning at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma, where the couples had been staying in two separate villas.

The samples extracted from the victims and their villas were sent to a lab in Philadelphia, with results of the toxicology report expected in about one week. Rolle noted that the Bahamas’ Department of Environmental Health and police officers are still at the resort.

All four tourists complained of feeling ill and went to a doctor the night before their bodies were discovered; they went at different times and had eaten different things. Sandals Resorts said it would not comment further beyond its original statement, which noted that it is supporting the investigation and the families of those affected.  The company said: “Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot disclose further information at this time.”

Editorial credit: Bennian / Shutterstock.com

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