Bahamas Police Commissioner Paul Roll said the coroner “has agreed to perform autopsies” on Monday, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.
In a statement to CNN, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said no traces of trauma were found on the bodies, and the circumstances are still under police investigation.
How did the situation develop?
According to the police statement, authorities at Georgetown Police Station received a call shortly after 9 a.m. from staff that an unresponsive man had been found in one of the resort’s villas.
As they arrived at the scene, the police were informed that there was an additional male and female, both unresponsive, in another villa on the property.
In the first villa, the police found a “Caucasian man lying on the ground unresponsive” and showing no signs of shock. Police said a doctor has pronounced him dead. On Saturday, Rolle said the woman who was taken to hospital had been found with him.
The police statement said they found a man in the second villa who had “fallen against a wall in an unresponsive bathroom” and “the woman was found in a bedroom on a bed.”
“Both showed signs of convulsions,” the statement said, with neither of them showing signs of shock.
“The night before, they had all reported feeling ill, and had been seen by paramedics,” said Rolle. He said they were treated at different times and ate before at different locations.
When asked at a press conference how long the guests might have been dead before they were discovered, Rolle said, “They were seen by the doctor the night before, and it was around 11, and they were discovered the next morning. So, we have the schedule… between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Who are the victims?
Denis Chiarella told her son that she fell ill on Thursday, but after being discharged from the clinic, “I thought she was fine,” according to ABC.
He said he was sad about his father’s death. “My dad was everything to me,” he told ABC.
CNN’s efforts to reach Austin Chiarella were unsuccessful.
Phillips’ daughter, Caroline Phillips-Fortenberry, sent a statement to CNN on Monday.
“Our hearts are sad and broken, but full of hope,” she wrote. “We know that our Father and Father are utterly rejoiced in the presence of our Heavenly Father. We already miss them greatly. Our fathers left a legacy of faith in Jesus and generously loved their families and friends.”
Rolle said authorities are working on plans to return the bodies of the deceased, and arrangements have been made to hand over their possessions to their representatives in the United States.
What is the position of the investigation?
Acting Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Chester Cooper, said no mishap was suspected in Friday’s death.
Rolle declined to answer specific questions from reporters on Monday about whether authorities were pursuing specific leads, saying only that several samples had been collected from the building and that a forensic examination would help determine if any chemicals were present.
According to Roll, there is a lab in Philadelphia that helps with toxicology screenings in partnership with pathologists from the Bahamas, and results can be available within seven days.
The Department of Environmental Health Services was still at the scene of the accident at the resort on Monday, Roll said.
“We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigations into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance,” the US State Department said in a press release.
“Nothing is more important to Sandals Resort than the safety of our guests,” Sandals Resorts said in a statement to CNN on Saturday, expressing its “deep sadness” at the confirmation of the deaths.
The statement said the resort was working to “support both the investigation and the families of the guests in every possible way,” but could not reveal more information “out of respect for the privacy of our guests.”
Carlos Suarez, Carol Alvarado, Sarah Smart, Hera Humayun, Jason Hanna, Teresa Waldrop, Rebecca Reis, Elliot C. McLaughlin, Steve Almassi, Sarah Jorgensen and Susanna Cullinan contributed to this report.