Deaths of U.S. couple prompt luxury Mexican hotel to suspend operations

The luxury seaside resort in Mexico where the two American tourists were staying prompted the temporary suspension of operations until an internal investigation can be conducted into the deaths.

A Hyatt spokesperson informed CBS that the property will not resume normal operations until our investigation is complete, and the top priority is the wellbeing and safety of our colleagues and guests. El Rancho Hotel, owned by Hyatt Hotels, is located in a small town called El Pescadero in northern Lucas San Cabo, where the couple tragically passed away.

As per the Lutz family, John Heathco, 41, and Abby Lutz, 28, were discovered deceased in their hotel room last week after previously being admitted to a hospital due to what they believed was food poisoning during their journey.

The state attorney general’s office reported that gas inhalation was identified as the likely reason for death. The cause of death for the couple was classified as “substance intoxication to be determined,” as per The Associated Press.

The family of Lutz believes that the couple passed away due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

To assist in repatriating their daughter’s remains to the United States, the family stated on their GoFundMe page that the cause was attributed to inadequate ventilation at the resort, potentially resulting in carbon monoxide intoxication.

“Abby was the most gorgeous spirit and we will deeply miss her,” the family added. “Abby was meant to rendezvous with her father this week for Father’s Day and all of this is utterly unforeseen.”

Two individuals were unresponsive in their hotel room following a notification to the authorities that the pair was discovered on the evening of June 13.

As per the Attorney General’s Office, which observed that authorities discovered no indications of aggression on their bodies, the two individuals had passed away approximately 10 to 11 hours prior to that moment.

As stated on the hotel’s website, the cost of renting a room at Hotel Rancho Pescadero ranges from US$675 per night to a maximum of US$1,500 per night for a secluded villa and swimming pool.

Improperly vented or leaky stoves and water heaters frequently generate these types of gases. Carbon monoxide or other gases have resulted in numerous fatalities in Mexico.

Installation regulations for carbon monoxide detectors differ from one province to another in Canada. In Mexico, the lack of proper gas line installations and vents is common, and there is no legal obligation to have carbon monoxide detectors in place.

In the previous year, three American individuals were discovered deceased at a leased Airbnb in Mexico, apparent casualties of gas breathing.

The police department in Mexico City said that three individuals, a woman and two men, were found unresponsive on October 30th in a rented dwelling located in an upscale neighborhood. Post-mortem examinations suggested that the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

In 2018, a gas leak in a water heater in Tulum, located south of Playa del Carmen, resulted in the tragic deaths of an American couple and their two children.

According to prosecutors, the gas leak may have been caused by the age of the equipment or insufficient maintenance. An inspection at the rented condominium discovered the gas leak, indicating that the water heater was releasing gas.

In 2010, an explosion occurred at a hotel in Carmen del Playa, resulting in the death of two Mexicans and five Canadian tourists. The explosion was caused by the improper installation of a gas line.

Prosecutors stated that a gas leak from the line may have been ignited by an electric switch or plug. They mentioned that the gas line, which seemed to be intended for a pool heating unit, was not correctly installed or maintained in that particular situation.