Luxury Mexico Resort Where American Couple Was Found Dead Shuts Down


The luxury resort in Mexico where a couple died in their room has closed down as an investigation continues.

The couple, who were identified as John Heathco, 41, and Abby Lutz, 28, were found dead in their rooms at the Rancho Pescadero hotel in El Pescadero on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula on June 13.

Hyatt, which manages the resort, said in a statement to KABC-TV and CBS Los Angeles that the hotel has suspended its normal operations while authorities investigate the incident.

Hyatt added that it will also conduct its own investigation into the deaths, led by a third party, while they wait for authorities to release their findings. The company is being joined in its search by the hotel’s owners.

“Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of guests and colleagues and the property will not resume normal operations until our investigation is complete,” the company said in its statement.

Hyatt did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

A hotel employee told KABC-TV that the hotel closed its doors on June 18. 

While authorities have not yet released the cause of Heathco and Lutz’s deaths, Lutz’s stepsister Gabrielle Slate wrote on a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her funeral that the family received a phone call saying the couple “passed away peacefully in their hotel room in their sleep” and that their deaths were “due to improper venting of the resort and could be Carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Local police initially said gas inhalation was to blame for the couple’s death, according to the Associated Press.

Ricardo Carbajal, who worked as a manager at Rancho Pescadero until March, claimed to the Los Angeles Times that the hotel’s carbon monoxide detectors rang for three months last year signaling a possible gas leak, but he said that management disconnected them in January after several guests complained.

“They knew there were problems with gas leaks,” said Carbajal. “Everyone was aware of the alarms and that the detectors were off.”

“Housekeepers reported gas leaks, security reported gas leaks, maintenance workers reported gas leaks,” another employee told the publication, noting that a housekeeper cleaning their room fell ill prior to their stay due to suspected gas poisoning.

Paramedics who responded to the incident and entered the room where the couple were found dead also reported feeling “intoxication symptoms such as hypoxia and racing heartbeat” and left the scene because they felt unsafe, according to ABC News

The victims had been dead for about 10 or 11 hours when they were found by housekeepers. The Mexican state’s attorney general wrote that there were no signs of violence and that the cause of death was intoxication by an unspecified substance. According to the Washington Post, forensic experts are working to determine the substance.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson told KABC-TV that they are “closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death.”

“We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we have nothing further to add at this time,” they said.

Source: People