In a shocking and sad incident, two American tourists were found dead in their luxury hotel room at Hyatt’s new Baja California Sur, Mexico property, Rancho Pescadero. While the cause of death has yet to be determined, initial reports suggest that it may be the result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
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A Luxury Mexican Holiday Turns Deadly
The victims, identified as John Heathco, 41, and Abby Lutz, 28, both of California were discovered with no signs of violence on their bodies, according to the Baja California Sur Attorney General’s Office.
The official cause of death is cited as “intoxication by substance to be determined” but friends of the families have reported that carbon monoxide poisoning is the likely cause.
The victims were discovered in their room at the Hotel Rancho Pescadero, a Hyatt property, on Tuesday evening.
Hyatt did not respond when contacted for comment by multiple outlets including ABC News.
The hotel, located in the small village of El Pescadero, is a popular destination for tourists seeking a luxurious getaway in Mexico. The property, which opened in late 2022, is not far from Cabo San Lucas.
Upon arrival at the scene, local police and paramedics found the victims with no vital signs. It was estimated that the pair had been dead for about 10 or 11 hours before they were found. The local attorney general’s office is currently overseeing the investigation into this tragic incident.
Increasing Danger for American Travelers in Mexico
This incident comes amidst growing concerns about the safety of travelers in Mexico. In October, three Americans were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning at their Airbnb while on vacation in Mexico City.
In March 2022, two people were killed and 18 injured when a gas leak caused an explosion in a Playa del Carmen resort. A family of four from Iowa died in Tulum as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is not the only danger for Americans to be concerned about in Mexico. A viral video recently surfaced showing two American tourists being accosted by gun-carrying cartel members in Cancun.
The footage, which has been viewed over 5 million times on Twitter, shows the tourists being stopped by a speeding car of cartel members who demand to know their destination and names before letting them go.
Cancun, once known for its idyllic white sandy beaches, has been ensnared by a web of cartel violence that extends all the way down to Tulum.
Despite these popular tourist spots historically being spared from direct violence and attacks on commercial passenger aircraft, danger still lurks. The illusion of peace, maintained meticulously for the sake of the tourism industry, is becoming increasingly challenging for Mexican authorities to maintain.
The U.S. State Department has issued an advisory urging Americans to reconsider travel and exercise “increased caution” when visiting many parts of Mexico.
The advisory warns that criminal activity and violence may occur in any location, at any time, including in popular tourist destinations. Travelers are advised to maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations.
Two American tourists were tragically found dead in Hyatt’s Rancho Pescadero with initial reports suggesting the cause might be carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the victims’ families has set up a GoFundMe for help funding the repatriation of the body, noting that the cause of death was “due to improper venting of the resort and could be Carbon monoxide poisoning.” Whatever the cause, this is an incredibly sad situation for the family and loved ones of the deceased.