Two Americans Found Dead at Mexico Resort Died From Inhaling Toxic Gas


Two Americans whose bodies were found in their room at a resort in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur on 13 June died from inhaling toxic gas, according to officials’ preliminary findings.

The couple – identified as 41-year-old John Heathco and 28-year-old Abby Lutz, of California – had reportedly been dead between 10 and 11 hours before being discovered in their room at the oceanfront Hyatt Rancho Pescadero Hotel in El Pescadero, Mexico. The cause of death was ruled as intoxication of an unspecified gas substance that local officials as of Saturday were still working to determine.

In an interview with Good Morning America, one of the paramedics who arrived on the scene to treat Heathco and Lutz claimed he and a colleague immediately experienced dizziness after entering the room. The hotel manager claimed there was no gas leak of any kind in the hotel.

Lutz’s family members claimed she reported to them on Monday that she experienced food poisoning and received medical treatment on Sunday night but did not hear from her after that.

Current and former employees at the luxury resort told the Los Angeles Times that managers ignored possible signs of gas leaks for months and had disabled carbon monoxide alarms in the hotel because they were disturbing guests.

“They knew there were problems with gas leaks,” said Ricardo Carbajal, a former night manager at the resort who stopped working at the resort in March after a dispute over pay. “Everyone was aware of the alarms and that the detectors were off.”

Three current employees confirmed the detectors were disabled and claimed management ignored for months complaints of strong gas smells from guests and employees and that just days prior a housekeeper fell ill cleaning the room where the two Americans were found dead.

Hyatt officials previously denied suspicions the deaths were related to gas leaks but did not comment on claims from current and former workers.

The deaths of Heathco and Lutz are under investigation after three other Americans died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a Mexico City home that they rented ahead of Day of the Dead celebrations in the fall of last year.

The dead in that case were Jordan Marshall, 28; Courtez Hall, 33; and Kandace Florence, 28.

An odorless gas, carbon monoxide is in the fumes from fuel burned in cars, stoves, grills, lanterns, furnaces or fireplaces, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inhaling the gas for a prolonged time can be deadly. Symptoms which can alert people that they are inhaling carbon monoxide include headaches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain, upset stomach and confusion.

Source : The Guardian