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Second Autopsy Upcoming in Bahamas Deaths

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Sandals Emerald Bay Resort | Image by Royston Jones Jr.

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As reported by The Dallas Express, three Americans were found dead at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on the island of Grand Exuma in the Bahamas earlier this month. Now, the families are looking for answers.

Bahamanian officials conducted autopsies on the bodies and found no indications of foul play. The victims’ families are asking for a U.S. forensics expert to be allowed to perform a second autopsy.


Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville told Eyewitness News (EW) Bahamas that those requests are being granted.

“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 one’s [death]. And so, those requests are being entertained. I’m not sure exactly where they are at this point,” Darville said.

Michael and Robbie Phillips from Tennessee and Vincent Chiarella from Florida were found unresponsive in their villas on May 6. Chiarella’s wife, Donnis, was the lone survivor and is in good condition at a Florida hospital.

According to EW Bahamas, the couples reported feeling ill the night before after eating at various restaurants, and Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said they sought medical attention before being found deceased in their villas.

Bahamian officials are still unsure what the cause of death was.

“Those investigations are still ongoing, to my understanding,” Darville said at a cabinet meeting. He continued to explain that toxicology reports are still outstanding.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force says part of their investigation includes interviewing guests who may have been close to the situation that night. They also sent samples from each victim to pathologists in the U.S. to be examined, hoping that answers could soon be given to the families.

CBS News reports Rolle said officers are also trying to find anyone in the U.S. who knew the victims as a way to give insight into their overall health.

Sandals released a statement saying, in part, “We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests’ families in every way possible during this difficult time. Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot disclose further information at this time.”

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