Tenn. Couple and Fla. Man Identified as 3 Americans Mysteriously Found Dead at Sandals Resort in Bahamas

The three victims were identified as Michael Phillips, 68, Robbie Phillips, 65, and Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64

Robbie and Mike Phillips
(L-R) Mike Phillips and Robbie Phillips. Photo: Robbie and Mike Phillips/Facebook

Officials have identified the three Americans who were mysteriously found dead at a Sandals resort in the Bahamas on Friday.

Tennessee couple Michael Phillips, 68, and wife Robbie Phillips, 65, as well as Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, of Florida, died at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma, Bahamas Police Force Commissioner Paul Rolle said in a press conference on Monday.

The Phillipses were found in their own villa, while Chiarella was found unresponsive in a separate villa, authorities said.

A woman who survived was identified as Vincent's wife, Donnis Chiarella, 65. Police said that she was airlifted to Florida and "was last listed in serious condition."

A cause of death remains unknown, pending toxicology tests, Rolle said during the press conference.

"Once those examinations are done, our pathologist will be able to provide an official report as to an exact cause of death and help us to determine exactly what has happened," Rolle said.

Asked about the possible presence of contaminates, police said that "several samples" have been collected from the resort premises, and that answers should be provided following the forensic examination.

Austin Chiarella, the son of Vincent and Donnis Chiarella, previously said he was "heartbroken" over his father's death.

"My dad was everything to me," he told ABC News of his late father.

Austin went on to tell the outlet that his mother was feeling ill and visited a medical clinic on Thursday, but "thought she was alright" after being released.

When she woke the following morning, "my dad was laying there on the floor, and she couldn't move," Austin told the outlet of his parents. "Her legs and arms was swollen and she couldn't move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door."

In a Facebook post on May 5, which appears to have since been made private, Robbie praised the Sandals resort. "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 sea gulls talking - this is it!" she wrote alongside a series of beachside snaps. "RELAXING The Greg Norman golf course is a bonus."

Sandals Emerald Bay Resort
Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

A representative for Sandals previously told PEOPLE, "It is with deep sadness that we can confirm the passing of three guests at Sandals Emerald Bay on May 6, 2022."

"A health emergency was initially reported and following our protocols we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities," they continued. "We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests' families in every way possible during this difficult time."

Additionally, the investigation is being "closely" monitored by the U.S. Department of State, officials said.

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The Royal Bahamas Police Force said Friday that authorities were informed that morning that three bodies were found in two separate villas at Emerald Bay.

"On their arrival at the scene they were directed to the first villa. On entering a bedroom, they found a caucasian male laying on the ground unresponsive. An examination of the body was conducted, there was no signs of trauma found. The local doctor later pronounced the victim dead," the RBPF said in a statement.

"The officers were then directed to the second villa, where they found a caucasian male slumped against the wall in a bathroom unresponsive. A caucasian female was also found in a bedroom on a bed. She too was unresponsive. Both individuals showed signs of convulsion," the release continued. "The officers examined the bodies and found no signs of trauma. The local doctor later pronounced both persons dead."

Police added that their "initial investigations revealed that the couple found in the second villa complained of illness the previous evening."

After receiving treatment from a local medical facility, they returned "to their lodging," police said.

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Bahamas Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Chester Cooper, said in a statement on Friday that although "the cause of death is still unknown," he had been advised that "foul play is not suspected."

In a follow-up message over the weekend, Cooper shared that "once the remains have been legally identified, the pathologist can begin the process of identifying the cause of death."

Sandals, based out of Jamaica, operates several luxury all-inclusive resort destinations in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and other parts of the Caribbean including St. Lucia and Barbados.

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