Luxury Mexico resort where California couple found


An official with the luxury hotel where a man and woman from Newport Beach were found dead in their room denied that the resort caused their deaths.

Abby Lutz, 28, and John Heathco, 41, were found on Tuesday night. Mexican authorities initially said a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning was suspected. 

“We understand authorities immediately tested the air quality in the room after responding to the situation, and at the time, did not report any findings of gas or carbon monoxide and advised that the hotel was cleared to continue normal operations,” Henar Gil, the manager of the Rancho Pescadero hotel in Baja California Sur, said in a statement to the Orange County Register on Friday evening. “The hotel continues to monitor air quality.”

The area of the hotel where Lutz and Heathco were found remains closed off, Gil said in the statement, adding that the hotel is “… deeply affected and sorry for the loss the families and loved ones of Abby and John are enduring.”

An autopsy report attributed the cause of death to “intoxication” by a “substance to be determined,” according to “Good Morning America.” No further details were disclosed.

However, GMA aired an interview with a paramedic who responded to the hotel room where the couple was found, and he said he also felt ill.

“My partner and I, we started to feel dizzy. We went out of the room as soon as possible,” Fernando Valencia told GMA.

A GoFundMe account set up for the paramedics’ medical costs described how Valencia and his partner, who also is his sister, were flown to a private hospital for examination. “We still can’t confirm what caused them to fall ill,” the page states.

Heathco and Lutz had been dead for about 10 hours when they were found, prosecutors in Mexico said. It wasn’t clear who discovered them. Their bodies reportedly bore no signs of violence.

The 30-acre, oceanfront Rancho Pescadero, a Hyatt hotel, brands itself as a “wellness resort.” Rooms start around $600 a night, according to its website.

Heathco is the founder of a nutritional supplements company LES Labs, based in Covina. Lutz has lived in Ladera Ranch and worked as a nanny, according to her Facebook page.

The U.S. State Department said it is monitoring the case.

“While on a beautiful trip in Mexico, Abby and her boyfriend thought they had food poisoning and went to the hospital to get treatment. We were told they were feeling much better a few days later, says a GoFundMe page set up for Lutz’s family.

“We received a phone call saying that they had passed away peacefully in their hotel room in their sleep. We have been told it was due to improper venting of the resort and could be Carbon monoxide poisoning,” says the page, organized by Gabrielle Slate on behalf of Raymond Anthony Lutz.

“We are trying to get Abby home to us so we can have the funeral she deserves,” it says. “Our family would be so grateful for any help. Abby was the most beautiful soul and we will miss her so much.”

Salt Lake City resident Mari Sisti said she was shocked Wednesday when she learned about Lutz’s death via a text message forwarding the GoFundMe.

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