Shocking reason behind tourist deaths at luxury resort

·News Editor
·3-min read

The mysterious deaths of three American tourists at a luxury resort in the Bahamas have been solved, with the cause of their deaths finally revealed.

Tennessee couple Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, were found dead in their room at Sandals Emerald Bay resort on Great Exuma, while Florida resident Vincent Chiarella, 64, was found dead in the room next door.

Police found Mr Chiarella unresponsive on the ground, while Mr Phillips was "slumped against a wall in a bathroom” and Mrs Phillips was found in the bedroom.

Robbie and Mike Phillips were killed from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandals resort in the Bahamas.
Robbie and Mike Phillips were killed in the incident, with flowers and tributes left outside their travel agency. Source: Facebook

Police said the individuals showed signs of "convulsion", though none of the victims had visible injuries.

Now, more than two weeks after their deaths, it’s been revealed the tourists were likely victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, The Nassau Guardian reported.

The official autopsy and toxicology reports are expected to be released later today.

Sole survivor woke up and ‘couldn’t move’

Mr Chiarella and his wife, Donnis, were celebrating their wedding anniversary at the five-star resort before disaster struck.

While Mr Chiarella was killed, his wife survived. Their son told the harrowing story of what happened when she woke up and realised she couldn’t move.

"She woke up and my dad was laying there on the floor, and she couldn’t move," Austin Chiarella told ABC News in the US.

The villa at Sandals resort in the Bahamas where three tourists were found dead
The villa where Mr and Mrs Phillips were reportedly staying at the time of their deaths. Source: WFLA/NBC News

"Her legs and arms [were] swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door.”

Mrs Chiarella reportedly felt sick the day before and visited a medical clinic in the Bahamas but was discharged.

RELATED: Carbon monoxide poisoning - what you need to know

Austin said he was “heartbroken” by the sudden death of his father, who was “everything to me”.

Victim’s final post before death

Mr and Mrs Phillips ran a travel agency together called Royal Travel where they partnered with Sandals resorts to plan dream getaways for clients.

Tourists swim in the pool at Sandals Emerald Bay on Great Exuma.
The tourists were visiting the five-star luxury resort on Great Exuma. Source: Sandals

Mrs Phillips was also known as The Sand Lady and had worked in the travel industry for more than 25 years.

In a final post to her Facebook page the day before she died, Mrs Phillips raved about the resort and posted photos of the ocean.

"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!" the post reportedly read.

On Saturday, in their hometown of Maryville, family and friends gathered to celebrate the couple's lives.

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