Bid-a-Wee Beach residents react to local man’s death, woman’s hospitalization under “mysterious circumstances” in Bahamas

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Three Americans are dead and another hospitalized after being found under “mysterious circumstances” in a resort in the Bahamas last week. Records from the Bay County Property Appraiser’s Office show one of those people is a man listed as owning a home in Panama City Beach. His wife, who was hospitalized, is also listed on property records.

Bahamas Police Commissioner Paul Rolle identified one of the victims as Vincent Chiarella. His wife, Donnis, was airlifted to a hospital in Miami for serious conditions from the “mysterious incident.” Officials said they can not yet provide a cause of death.

Now, residents of the Bid-a-Wee Beach neighborhood and neighbors of the Chiarella’s are remembering the couple.

“Everybody talked about Vince and Donnis. “You got to meet Vince and Donnis, they’re the greatest people.” When I did, I understood exactly what they were talking about,” Neighbor Genice Moneyham said.

The Chiarella’s were described as a major part of the community.

“Vincent and Donnis are so outgoing and always welcoming all the neighbors for every occasion,” Neighbor Charlotte Greathouc said.

A home that neighbors said they felt welcome at until the unthinkable happened last week.

“They went to celebrate their anniversary and such tragic news, it’s just still unbelievable,” said Greathouc.

According to NBC News, the Chiarella’s were guests at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in Great Exuma when they were found under “mysterious circumstances.”

“Of all the people in the Bahamas, why did Vince have to go?” said Moneyham.

Vincent was found dead and Donnis was hospitalized with serious conditions after the incident.

“To lose him because he was such a big life in this community, we all just don’t even know how to feel right now,” said Moneyham.

Though left shocked, the Chiarella’s neighbors continue to remember Vince for his big smile and compassion towards the community.

“It won’t be Vince and Donnis, you know? We’re so sad about that because he was bigger than life. He was life. He lived every moment like it was his last,” said Moneyham.

And even though it was his last, his memory will last a lifetime in Bid-a-Wee Beach.

Officials said samples extracted from the three tourists who died at the resort under “mysterious circumstances” have been sent to a lab in Philadelphia to expedite results and help authorities understand what happened. Officials add no foul play is suspected at this time.

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