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Families of Americans who died at Bahamas resort demand second autopsy

The families of the three Americans who mysteriously died at a luxury Sandals resort in the Bahamas earlier this month are demanding a second, independent autopsy in addition to the one performed by a Bahamian pathologist.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville confirmed the families’ request in an interview with Eyewitness News and said the Bahamian government hopes to “get to the bottom” of the causes of death as soon as possible while the investigation continues and the families await the results of the first autopsy.

“They’re still some investigations ongoing at the Sandals resort. We also have the pathologists in-country who have done their job and samples were sent to a very reliable lab in the United States,” Darville said.

“The toxicology reports are still outstanding. There were requests by family members of the deceased to bring in a pathologist from abroad to do another autopsy.”

The victims — Michael Phillips, 68, his wife, Robbie, 65, and Vincent Chiarella, who was staying in a separate villa with his wife, Donnis, who remains hospitalized in Florida — were found unresponsive in their rooms on May 6 after allegedly seeking medical help after feeling ill the night before.

None of the three showed any type of trauma, however, showed signs of convulsions, according to the Royal Bahamian Police. Foul play is not suspected.

Robbie (left) and Michael Phillips were found unresponsive in their rooms after allegedly seeking medical help after feeling ill the night before.
Facebook/Robbie Phillips
General view of the Sandals Emerald Bay resort.
The families of the three Americans are demanding a second, independent autopsy in addition to the one performed by a Bahamian pathologist.
New York Post

Investigators are looking into the food that the victims consumed, as well as reports of a “strong odor” of insecticides on the property that several guests had complained about.

Officials are also looking into possible leaks from air conditioning units and the water heater on the property.

Darville said that the families had requested that the bodies be returned back to the United States, which he said entails embalming the bodies to ship them over water.

“I do not know exactly how far it has gone, but we are willing to assist anyone who wants to get to the bottom of their loved ones [death],” Darville said. “And so, those requests are being entertained. I’m not sure exactly where they are at this point.”

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