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18-6-2019 17:44:12

14 suspicious cases of tourists getting sick, assaulted, and dying in the Dominican Republic in the past year

10 US tourists have died while staying at all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic since June 2018. Several other US tourists have claimed they were poisoned at a Dominican Republic resort. Additionally, a Delaware woman, Tammy Lawrence-Daley, claimed she was brutally attacked at a Punta Cana resort in January. Police are still investigating. In a non-suspicious incident, Portia Ravenelle and Orlando Moore, of New York, died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic in March while driving to the airport. Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories. Ten Americans have died in the Dominican Republic under suspicious circumstances in the last year – and several other tourists claim they were poisoned or attacked in the country. “Shark Tank” host and real estate investor Barbara Corcoran revealed on Wednesday that her brother John was found dead of an apparent heart attack in a Dominican Republic hotel room in April. It is unclear which resort he was staying at.Meanwhile, three tourists all died of respiratory failure while staying Bahia Principe hotel at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in La Romana, about 50 miles west of Punta Cana, in May. Another woman died at a hotel in the same resort chain last June, her family told NBC10, and several other tourists have said they were poisoned by drinks at the same resort chain. At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana, two men died in separate incidents in April 2019 and June 2018. There are now reports of US tourist deaths at other Dominican Republic resorts as well. Additionally, a Delaware woman claimed she was brutally attacked at another Dominican Republic hotel. Police said they are investigating her claims, though have said there are inconsistencies in the case.Read more: Dominican Republic police are questioning a Delaware woman’s story about being brutally attacked at a resort The country is a popular vacation destination, and the tourism industry accounted for more than 17% of the Dominican Republic’s economy in 2018, according to CNN. Last year, 13 Americans died in the Dominican Republic. Four of the deaths were the results of drownings, four were auto accidents, two were homicides, one was suicide, and one was an undisclosed accident, the US State Department reported. All of this year’s incidents appear to be unrelated. And while tourism is crucial to the region, the recent deaths have raised concerns among visitors. Joseph Allen, 55, was found dead in his hotel room near Puerto Plata in June.Foto: Joseph Allen.sourceNBC New York Joseph Allen, a 55-year-old from New Jersey, was found dead on June 13 in his room at the Terra Linda Resort in Sosua, on the north side of the island, about 15 miles east of Puerto Plata. Allen’s family said he was celebrating a friend’s birthday in the Dominican Republic when he died, according to NBC News. His brother, Jason Allen, said Joseph had complained to friends about the heat and went to lie down in his room before his death. “The maid opens the door, screams, slams the door. My brother is on the floor dead, between his room and the bathroom,” Jason Allen told NBC New York. Jason Allen said he wants his brother’s death investigated. “I’d rather not guess because you will drive yourself crazy with that, but I do think something is off and I think it needs to be investigated no matter how much money or how much time it is,” he said. Joseph Allen leaves behind his 23-year-old son. “Shark Tank” host and real estate investor Barbara Corcoran’s brother John was found dead of an apparent heart attack in a Dominican Republic hotel room in April.Foto: sourceAndrew Toth/Getty “Shark Tank” judge Barbara Corcoran revealed on Wednesday that her brother died of an apparent heart attack in April while staying at a hotel in the Dominican Republic. Corcoran, 70, told TMZ that her brother, John, who lived in New Jersey, was on vacation with a friend when he died. It is unclear what hotel he was staying at. Corcoran, who has nine siblings, said she doesn’t believe an autopsy was performed but was told he died from a heart attack.Leyla Cox, 53, died at a resort in Punta Cana in June.Foto: Excellence resort in Punta Cana.sourceGoogle Maps Leyla Cox, from New Brighton, New York, on Staten Island, died on June 10 while staying at the Excellence resort in Punta Cana, her son, Will, told NBC News. Will Cox told the Staten Island Advance that his mother traveled to the Dominican Republic on June 5 and was expected to return on June 12. She died one day after celebrating her 53rd birthday, and her body was found in her hotel room. Will Cox said that US Embassy officials told him his mother died of a heart attack, but amid news of other deaths, he is considering the death suspicious. “I have a right to be suspicious,” he told the Advance. “With everything going on in the news right now, we think she’s a casualty of what’s been happening.”Robert Bell Wallace died after consuming a drink from his hotel minibar in April.Foto: sourceAll Inclusive Collection Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, died in the Dominican Republic in April 2019. His relatives told Fox News he had fallen ill after having a drink from his hotel room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana while in the country for his stepson’s wedding. Wallace’s niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News that Wallace was in relatively good health before his trip. “He was fine,” Arnold said. “He and his wife arrived there at around midnight on April 10. On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.” She said Wallace was hospitalized on April 13 and died on April 14. Dominican Republic officials have not given the family a cause of death, Arnold said.4th death in Dominican Republic: Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, became ill almost immediately after he had a scotch from the room minibar @ the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana. He was in the Dominican Republic to attend his stepson’s wedding.— DogWhisperer (@cannotrunfast) June 10, 2019David Harrison, 45, died after falling ill at the same Punta Cana resort while on vacation with his family last year.Foto: David Harrison and Dawn McCoy.sourceDawn McCoy Dawn McCoy, of Charles County in southern Maryland near Washington, DC, told INSIDER that her husband, David Harrison, died while they were vacationing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the beach town of Punta Cana last July. An autopsy said the 45-year-old died of a heart attack and pulmonary edema. McCoy said Harrison had been in the Dominican Republic for nine days when he fell ill. “He couldn’t talk, he was unable to sit up, everything that came out was just grunting,” she told INSIDER. “He was trying to talk, but nothing would come out.” She said it took a doctor 22 minutes to get to their room. The doctor told McCoy that Harrison still had a faint pulse, but McCoy told INSIDER she now questions whether that was true. Harrison was taken to the hospital, where McCoy said she waited two hours to speak with anyone and didn’t observe any doctors evaluating her husband in a nearby curtained room. She said she was finally approached by a funeral director, who told her Harrison was dead. McCoy did not opt for a second autopsy when she got back to the United States but says she now wishes she had. His body was cremated, according to WUSA.Jerry Curran, 78, died in January while at a resort in Punta Cana.Foto: Jerry Curran.sourceWKYC Jerry Curran, 78, died three days after checking into the Dreams resort in Punta Cana on January 22, his daughter, Kellie Brown, told WKYC. “He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back,” Brown said. Curran, of Bedford, Ohio, fell ill after having dinner and drinks with his wife, Janet, and friends, and was sent to the hospital after he started vomiting. Brown recalled a family friend traveling with her father calling from the hospital. “Your father needs surgery or he’s going to die and they need $50,000 and you need to send it with a copy of your passport, the front and back of your debit card and an authorization stating that you would allow them to withdraw $50,000,” Brown recalled. Brown said she paid the money, but her father later died. “He made it through surgery and he died about eight hours later,” Brown said. Brown said four causes of death were given: pulmonary edema, cerebral hypoxia, subdural hematoma and severe encephalitic cranial trauma.Miranda Schaup-Werner died of respiratory failure in her hotel room on May 25.Foto: Miranda Schaup-WernersourceFlickr/Hernan Bustelo Miranda Schaup-Werner, a 41-year-old from Allentown, Pennsylvania, collapsed and died suddenly on May 25 in her room at Bahía Príncipe hotel at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in La Romana after having a drink from the minibar, a relative told Fox News. Schaup-Werner, a psychotherapist, had checked into the hotel with her husband, Daniel Werner. They were planning on celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary. Jay McDonald, Daniel’s brother-in-law, told Fox News that Schaup-Werner had a mixed bottle of alcohol and soda from her hotel room’s minibar, and less than an hour later, she collapsed. Werner performed CPR and called for help, and when paramedics arrived, they administered an epinephrine injection in case she suffered an allergic reaction. Shortly after, Schaup-Werner was pronounced dead. McDonald said Schaup-Werner’s cause of death was listed as respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day are believed to have died of respiratory failure five days later at the same resort.Foto: Miranda Schaup-Werner, left, and Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, right.sourceWFMZ, Facebook Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day were found dead in their room at the Bahía Príncipe hotel at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in La Romana on May 30. Dominican Republic police said that Holmes and Day died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, an abnormal buildup of fluid in the lungs – just like Schaup-Werner. Police said medication meant to treat high blood pressure were found in the room, according to CNN. There was no sign of violence.Yvette Monique Sport, reportedly died of a heart attack at another Dominican hotel in the Bahia Principe chain.Foto: sourceGran Bahia Principe Punta Cana Yvette Monique Sport, 51, of Glenside, Pennsylvania, died at a Bahia Principe hotel in Punta Cana in June 2018, according to Fox29. Her death certificate said her cause of death was a heart attack, Sport’s sister, Felecia Nieves, told the local network. Nieves said Sport took a drink from her hotel room mini bar, went to bed, and never woke up. “We were promised within three months that we would receive a toxicology report to this day, which is almost a year now we’ve got nothing,” Nieves said.A woman claims she vomited blood after drinking what she believed to be a soda from her hotel room’s minibar. Awilda Montes, a 43-year-old woman from Queens, New York, claimed she vomited blood after drinking what she believed was a 7-Up from her hotel room minibar at the Bahía Príncipe on October 25, 2018. “I was miserable,” she told the New York Daily News. “I was vomiting. I had stomach pains. The chemical burns were all over. I still don’t have sensation in my tongue.” Montes said she told hotel staff about what happened and they offered her a couples massage and dinner. She said they also wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement. She did not accept the offer.A Colorado couple claim they were poisoned at the Dominican Republic resort where three people have died.Foto: Kaylynn Knull says she and her boyfriend got sick at the same Dominican Republic resort where three Americans died late last month.sourceThe Denver Channel Kaylynn Knull told The Denver Channel that she and her boyfriend were poisoned at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana in June 2018. She said their room at the resort had a strong chemical smell, as if “somebody had dumped paint everywhere.” “We were drooling excessively. My eyes would not stop watering,” she told the local ABC affiliate. Knull said they changed rooms, but woke up the next morning soaked in sweat. They cut their trip short and flew home to Colorado, where a doctor determined they had likely been exposed to organophosphate poisoning, meaning they had probably been exposed to pesticides. “I was having the worst intestinal cramping I have ever experienced. It felt like a chainsaw going through my gut,” Knull told The Denver Channel.A Delaware woman claimed she was attacked at a Dominican Republic resort in January.Foto: Tammy Lawrence-Daley.sourceNBC Philadelphia Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, claimed in a Facebook post that she was attacked the all-inclusive Majestic Elegance resort in Punta Cana while she was vacationing her her husband and friends in January. She said was attacked in an hours-long assault by a man wearing a resort uniform after she had stepped out of her room to find a late-night snack. Dominican Republic national police chief spokesman Col. Frank Durán told CBS News that officials are still investigating her claims, and say they have found inconsistencies. Punta Cana Tourism Police spokesman Ramón Brito told NBC Philadelphia that investigators found “incongruencies” and “discrepancies” in statements made by Lawrence-Daley’s husband, Christopher Daley. Daley has accused local authorities of mishandling the investigation and delaying the administration of a rape kit.Portia Ravenelle and Orlando Moore crashed their car into the ocean on March 27. Their deaths are not suspicious.Foto: Portia Ravenelle and Orlando Moore are presumed dead after they went missing in the Dominican Republic on March 27.sourceScreengrab/NBC News While their deaths are not suspicious, Portia Ravenelle, 52, and Orlando Moore, 40, are two other Americans who died in the Dominican Republic this year. They were reported missing after they missed their flight from the Dominican Republic to Newark, New Jersey, on March 27. Police found a car that matched the couple’s rental crashed at the bottom of the sea in April. Officials had previously found an unidentified woman believed to be Ravenelle injured on the highway near where the car was later found. She was admitted to the hospital and died on April 4. Dominican Republic national police chief spokesman Col. Frank Félix Durán Mejia told CBS News that a decomposed body was found on March 31, about 19 miles from the accident scene. Police believe the body was Moore’s. Roads in the Dominican Republic are notoriously dangerous, dark, and close to the sea, according to the Rockland Westchester Journal News. The US State Department alerted drivers to be safe on Dominican Republic roads in its 2018 Crime and Safety Report. “Travel at night on intercity highways and in rural areas can be highly dangerous and is not advised due to animals on the road, poor road conditions and vehicles being driven at either very slow or excessive speeds, often with malfunctioning headlights or taillights,” the report read.The Dominican Republic is on an “increased caution” travel advisory.Foto: The countryside in the nature reserve Lagunas Redondo in the Dominican Republic, is seen in this undated photo.sourceAP Photo/Jim Krane The US State Department currently rates the Dominican Republic at a level 2 out of 4 on its Travel Advisory system, meaning visitors should “exercise increased caution.” It has held the 2 rating since the beginning of 2019. An advisory from the State Department issued in April said: “Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic.” It added: “The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale.” The Dominican Republic is also ranked fifth worst in the world for road deaths for capita, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Status report.Read more: A Pennsylvania woman died at a Dominican Republic hotel just days before a Maryland couple were found dead at the same resort A Maryland couple found dead at a Dominican Republic resort reportedly died of respiratory failure Police recover 2 bodies in the search for the New York couple that vanished on vacation in the Dominican Republic The post 14 suspicious cases of tourists getting sick, assaulted, and dying in the Dominican Republic in the past year appeared first on Business Insider Nederland.
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