Bahamas Sandals Resort victim pictured days before tragedy as mystery still surrounds deaths of three American tourists

A HUSBAND and wife have been pictured – days before he died at a plush Sandals resort in the Bahamas.

Retiree Vincent Chiarella, of Florida, is among three American tourists who mysteriously died at the luxury hotel over the weekend.

Chiarella, 64, was on vacation at Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, The Bahamas when he was found dead on Friday – hours after reportedly feeling ill.

His wife Donnis, who is in her 60s, was rushed to a Miami hospital where she remains in critical condition.

The couple had been celebrating their anniversary at the luxury resort, their son Austin told ABC News.

They had been pictured relaxing on swings on the sandy beach – days before his death.

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Wife of tourist found dead at resort woke up ‘unable to move as husband died’

Austin revealed Donnis had woken up to find "she couldn't move" – and saw her husband "laying on the floor".

He added: "Her legs and arms were swollen and she couldn't move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door."

Austin said: "I am just so heartbroken. My dad was everything to me."

Steve Mulder, Donnis’ brother, told that she’s in intensive care and covered in rashes.

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State Department officials told FoxNews Digital that they’re monitoring the case.

A spokesperson said: "We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death."

Recalling the ordeal, holidaymaker Chris Coucheron-Aamot said security guards swarmed their unit.

He suggested there may have been issues with some of the villas' air-con systems, which led to the deaths.

He posted on Facebook: "It sounds like it may have been a fault with the air-con in the unit, causing a toxic coolant leak.

"It was hard to sleep last night – every time the air-con came on, I woke up.

"We’re continuing our vacation because that’s what I would want people to do if I were to have been one [of those] who died – celebrate my life by living yours to the fullest.

"That said, our hearts are with those who grieve. May God have mercy on them and us."

The tragedy has rocked tourists in Exuma.

Taxi driver Armetia McIntosh told the Nassau Guardian: "Tourists here are concerned and they are wondering what really happened."


Hotel staff reported to police just after 9am local time on Friday that an unresponsive man had been found in a villa.

Cops were told that another man and woman were found unresponsive in another villa.

The second male was found “slumped against a wall in a bathroom unresponsive”, according to police.

Meanwhile, the woman was discovered on a bed.

They had both complained about feeling ill the previous night.

Officials said: “Both showed signs of convulsion. Neither showed signs of trauma and they were also pronounced dead by a doctor.”

Most air-con units use a chemical called Freon as a coolant.

It's a tasteless and odorless toxic gas that, if inhaled, for a prolonged time, can be fatal.

It is not clear if Freon was used in the air-conditioning system at the hotel.

Chester Cooper, acting prime minister of The Bahamas, said no foul play is suspected.

In a statement to, a Sandals spokesperson said the hotel is cooperating with police.

They did not respond to queries regarding a faulty air con unit.

"Nothing is more important to Sandals Resorts than the safety of our guests," the rep wrote in an emailed statement.

"A health emergency was initially reported and following our protocols we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities.

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"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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