Luxury Mexico resort where Newport Beach pair


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, according to a report by Good Morning America .

“We do not believe that the cause of death was related to any issues with the hotel’s infrastructure, including carbon monoxide or a gas of any kind,” Henar Gil, general manager of Rancho Pescadero, a Hyatt hotel, said in a statement aired on GMA.

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

On Friday, GMA said, an autopsy report attributed the cause of death to “intoxication” by a “substance to be determined.” No further details were disclosed.

However, the GMA segment included 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 said. It wasn’t clear who discovered them. Their bodies reportedly bore no signs of violence.

The 30-acre, oceanfront Rancho Pescadero in Baja California Sur 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. 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 a GoFundMe 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.

The pair had been family friends for about a decade when Lutz lived in Utah and kept in touch after Lutz’s move to California a few years ago.

“I missed her birthday in April and I felt bad about that,” Sisti said. “Then of course someone passes and you feel bad about every single thing you didn’t do.”

Right now, Lutz’s death still feels “surreal” for Sisti, who said Lutz was always helpful and kind. Lutz never missed a beat either when she joined in at Sisti family gatherings and “fit right in,” Sisti said, adding that she was also a well-liked nanny.

“If I had to wrack my brain, I could not in a million years come up with anything that wasn’t positive to say about her. Truly,” Sisti said. “We needed that light.”

This is a developing story.

The Associated Press and Staff writer Hanna Lykke contributed to this report.

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