Three Americans were mysteriously found dead at a Sandals vacation resort in the Bahamas on Friday, launching a police investigation into what initially started as a “health emergency,” resort officials said.
The guests, identified as two men and a woman, died at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma while a second woman had to be airlifted to a local hospital, Bahamian Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper said in a statement that did not list the surviving woman’s condition. Foul play is not suspected, he said.
The resort said a “health emergency” was initially reported, leading to police and medical officials responding to the Caribbean resort.
“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,” according to a statement obtained by HuffPost on Sunday.
Bahamian health minister Dr. Michael Darville told Eyewitness News Bahamas that some of the guests had sought medical treatment the day before for nausea and vomiting. They later discharged themselves.
“We feel that what we are seeing is an isolated case associated in a particular area,” he said, adding that local authorities have “some ideas” about the cause but that it’s too soon to say, with toxicology reports still pending.
One of the fatalities was identified as an Alabama man who was celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife when they both fell ill, the couple’s son told ABC News.
“She woke up and my dad was laying there on the floor, and she couldn’t move,” Austin Chiarella said of his parents, Vincent and Donnis Chiarella. “Her legs and arms was swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door.”
The bodies were reportedly found in two different villas, according to a preliminary police report obtained by CNN.
“The officers found a Caucasian male slumped against a wall in a bathroom, unresponsive,” the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in their report. “The woman was also unresponsive. Both individuals showed signs of convulsion. The officers examined the bodies and found no signs of trauma.”
Local authorities did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment Sunday.