Paramedics felt 'intoxication symptoms' in Mexico hotel room where 2 Americans were found dead

Officials identified the victims as 28-year-old Abby Lutz and 41-year-old John Heathco, both from Newport Beach, California.

ByAnne Laurent and Morgan Winsor ABCNews logo
Friday, June 16, 2023

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- When responding to the scene where two American tourists were found dead in their luxury hotel room in Mexico this week, paramedics told ABC News that they began to feel "intoxication symptoms such as hypoxia and racing heartbeat."

The paramedics said they decided to leave because they felt the scene was unsafe. They then took themselves to a local hospital for treatment, they told ABC News.

The victims had no vital signs when the paramedics entered the room at Hyatt's Rancho Pescadero on Mexico's Baja California peninsula on Tuesday night at around 9:10 p.m. local time. The lifeless body of a woman was found on the bed, while the lifeless body of a man was found in the fetal position on the floor of the shower, which was still on when the paramedics arrived, they told ABC News.

Abby Lutz, 28, and John Heathco, 41, were found dead in a hotel room in Baja California, Mexico on June 13, 2023.
Gabrielle Slate / LinkedIn

The victims had been dead for about 10 or 11 hours when they were found and there were no signs of violence or an altercation. The cause of death was "intoxication by substance to be determined," the State Attorney General's Office of Baja California Sur said in a statement on Thursday.

The attorney general's office identified the victims as 28-year-old Abby Lutz and 41-year-old John Heathco, both from Newport Beach, California.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State confirmed the death of two American citizens in northwestern Mexico's Baja California Sur state this week.

This photo shows Rancho Pescadero, in El Pescadero, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Business Wire via AP

Rancho Pescadero is a Hyatt property and boutique beachfront hotel in the scenic village of El Pescadero, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Sierra de Laguna mountain range. The hotel's general manager, Henar Gil, said in a statement on Thursday that he and his staff "do not believe that the cause of death was related to any issues with the hotel's infrastructure or facilities, including carbon monoxide or a gas of any kind."

"Beyond anything else, on behalf of the entire Rancho Pescadero team, we are deeply affected and sorry for the loss the families and loved ones of Abby and John are enduring. This is a shocking and unimaginable situation, and we are committed to supporting and treating them with understanding and compassion," Gil added. "We will continue to cooperate with authorities as they look into the cause of this terrible tragedy."

Lutz's family said they "are shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of our beloved Abby."

"Abby had an adventurous spirit and a wonderfully kind heart," the family said in a statement on Thursday. "She loved to travel, see new places, and share her zeal for life with those around her. We ask for your thoughts and prayers for our family during this very difficult time."

ABC News' Kendall Coughlin, Shannon Crawford, Will Gretsky and Bonnie McLean contributed to this report.