COP: RBPF will conduct formal interviews with individuals in US who claim to have information on Sandals deaths

COP: RBPF will conduct formal interviews with individuals in US who claim to have information on Sandals deaths
[PHOTO: Royston Jones Jr]

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle said yesterday that the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) has spoken with a number of individuals in the United States who reached out to the organization claiming to have information that could help their investigation into the deaths of three Americans at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort on Exuma earlier this month.

The commissioner told Eyewitness News that the police force was in the process of arranging formal interviews.

A Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) team of forensic investigators traveled to the United States over the weekend to transport samples taken from the three Americans who died and the survivor, according to Rolle.

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle.

“My officers from the forensic science laboratory left Nassau yesterday (Saturday) to take those samples to a lab in the United States for them to be analyzed there,” Rolle said.

“We are looking into all avenues as indicated in an effort to determine the cause of death.

“We have spoken to a number of persons as we continue these investigations and are actively making arrangements to conduct formal interviews with a number of persons that are currently in the United States, who have reached out to us, indicating that they have some information that will be able to help us with our investigation.

“And so, that is an ongoing feat.

Robbie Phillips and Michael Phillips pictured at Sandals [Sourced from Robbie’s FB page]
“We hope to have that resolved as soon as possible.

“Remember also, I said that once the lab receives those samples from us, they have promised us to have those analyzed within a week and hopefully get the reports back to us for onward submission to the pathologist.

“Once they get into the pathologist as I said it’ll take a few more weeks to give her time to make a determination before we get that pathologist report.”

As Rolle indicated last week, those reports may not be released to the public as the deaths and those reports could become the subject of a Coroner’s inquest.

In the latter instance, the commissioner said: “Those reports will be released at that time.”

The deceased guests include Robbie and Michael Phillips, who were celebrating their anniversary, and Vincent Chiarello, and his wife, Donnis, the sole survivor who was at last report was in serious condition in a Florida hospital.

Vincent Paul Chiarello, 65 (left) and his wife Donnis, 64, the sole survivor, pictured during their stat at Sandals to celebrate their anniversary.

Both couples were found in two separate villas by staff of the resort on May 6 around 9am.

According to the commissioner, the police force will be unable to speak to every aspect of their investigation.

“What we are trying to determine and establish at this point is the cause of death,” he said.

“And hopefully that would be able to help our pathologist.

“And so, remember, this is an active investigation.

“We cannot be speaking to every specific aspect of it.

“These are just general information that I’m giving until we complete our investigation; wherever it leads us.”

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.


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