By Kylie Madry
(Reuters) – Bahamian authorities said on Monday they have identified three American tourists who died under mysterious circumstances at a luxury resort on the island of Great Exuma on Friday and are still investigating cause of death.
Police Commissioner Paul Rolle in a news conference on Monday identified the victims as a couple, Robbie Phillips, 65, and Michael Phillips, 68, of Tennessee; and Vincent Chiarella, 64, of Florida.
Chiarella’s wife was also airlifted and taken to the hospital in serious condition, he said.
The two couples were staying in separate villas at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort.
Samples were taken from the rooms as well as from the deceased to determine cause of death, according to Rolle.
Sandals confirmed the deaths in a statement sent to Reuters, saying they were “actively working” to support the investigation and the victims’ families.
The police commissioner said authorities were “engaging” a laboratory in Philadelphia to run toxicology tests and that he expected pathology examinations to be performed on Monday.
Police said in a statement that staff at the resort had found an unresponsive man in his room early on Friday morning.
Once authorities arrived at the resort, they also found an unresponsive man and woman in a separate villa. Both showed signs of “convulsion,” police said, and all three were declared dead by a local doctor.
The couple, now identified as Robbie and Michael Phillips, had complained of illness on Thursday evening and visited a local medical facility, police said.
Health Minister Michael Darville told local media on Saturday investigators believe it was “an isolated situation” and that the resort was safe.
The United States State Department told USA Today it was “closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death.”
(Reporting by Kylie Madry in Mexico City; Editing by Sandra Maler)