THE sudden and unexpected deaths of tourists all staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic has led to speculation over their mysterious deaths.

At least 12 American tourists have died after falling ill on the Caribbean island in a scenario many have questioned as not coincidental.

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Twelve tourists have been confirmed dead while staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic

What has happened in the Dominican Republic?

The unexpected deaths has led top US cops to investigate amid fears the tourists may have been poisoned.

Many had fallen ill after consuming drinks from the minibar.
Dozens of other tourists have reported becoming unwell with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

A total of 30 million tourists have visited the island in the past five years and 2.7 million US tourists visit the popular holiday destination every year.

Where is the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is a small Caribbean island popular with US tourists.

A total of 30 million tourists have visited the island in the past five years and 2.7 million US tourists visit the popular holiday destination every year.

How many people have died so far?

At least 12 tourists have been confirmed to have died over the past two years.

Khalid Adkins: June 24, 2019

Khalid Adkins, 46, had been holidaying with his daughters but died from kidney failure after being removed from his flight home in agony.

Khalid was hospitalised in the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, after falling ill as he boarded his flight home to Denver.

He was reportedly removed from the plane “screaming in agony”.

Speaking to KDVR, Khalid’s sister in law said “they transferred him to Santo Domingo and [said] that his breathing is really bad and that his kidneys were failing.”

This comes after Khalid had been complaining of a swollen leg and had reportedly experienced vomiting and diarrhoea.

The following evening, it was posted on a GoFundMe page organised to help with the Adkin’s family’s costs that Khalid had died.

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Khalid Adkins died of kidney failure after falling ill in the Dominican Republic
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Joseph Allen: June 13, 2019

Joseph Allen, 55, from New Jersey, was found dead in his room at the Terra Linda hotel in Sosua on June 13, the US State Department said.

His sister, Jamie Reed, told ABC that he had made a trip to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

She said that her brother told pals he was feeling hot in the swimming pool and went to take a shower.

Later that evening he still wasn’t feeling well and did not show for breakfast the next day.

Staff then went to his room to perform a wellness check after he failed to answer his door and found him dead on the floor of his suite.

The New Jersey native was said to be in good health and holidayed in the Dominican Republic multiple times a year.

A preliminary autopsy suggested he suffered a cardiac arrest and there were no signs of violence, CNN reported.

But his brother Jason said he can’t understand how Joseph could have died so suddenly given that a recent medical examination found no health problems.

His sister said: “The families need answers. We deserve answers. My brother was my best friend. I spoke to him every day. This is killing me.

“I just don’t want them to suppress anything, especially with them embalming the body.”

Allen’s relatives released a statement saying they believe he could be “the victim of a wrongful death.”

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Joseph Allen was found dead in his hotel suite in the Dominican Republic on June 13, officials said[/caption]

Leyla Cox: June 10, 2019

Leyla Cox, 53, from Staten Island, New York, flew to the paradise Caribbean island on June 5 to celebrate her birthday where she was meant to spent a week before coming back to New York.

William Cox, her son, said she was found dead in her hotel room on Monday, just one day after her birthday.

Mr Cox said he was suspicious after his mum’s death was ruled a heart attack.

He told the Staten Island Advance: “I am overwhelmed and confused and in shock. I have a right to be suspicious.”

Mr Cox said he begged his mum not to go on holiday to the island after a spate of deaths in the country.
He said: “My family wanted her to not go on this vacation.

“I truly believe if my mother was not in the Dominican Republic, she would have been alive right now.”

“With everything going on in the news right now, we think she’s a casualty of what’s been happening.”

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Leyla Cox died on June 10, making her the eighth tourist to die on the island
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Edward Holmes & Cynthia Day: May 30, 2019

Engaged couple from Maryland, Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were also found dead in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe resort.

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Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, died in their room at the Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30
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Miranda Schaup-Werner: May 25, 2019

Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, from Pennsylvania,

collapsed in her room after having a drink from her minibar at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana, 70 miles west of Punta Cana.

She died on May 25.

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Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, died in May after a drink from a minibar at the Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel
Twitter

Robert Bell Wallace: April 14, 2019

Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died from unknown causes during an April trip to the island.

His family said he became unwell after drinking a glass of scotch from his room’s the minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

He was visiting the country for his step-son’s wedding.

His heartbroken niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News: “He was fine.

“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 afterwards.”

She said a hotel doctor had checked Mr Wallace, then decided on April 13 he needed to be hospitalised. He died on April 14.

Dominican authorities have yet to give the family a cause of death, Ms Arnold said.

“We have so many questions,” she said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

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Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, fell ill and died after drinking whisky at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Dominican Republic
Fox News

John Corcoran: April 2019

The brother of TV star Barbara Corcoran was found dead in a Dominican Republic hotel room.

Property mogul Barbara, 70, who appears on America’s version of Dragons Den, revealed her 60-year-old brother John died from a sudden heart attack while on holiday with a pal in April.

It comes after six US tourists died in mysterious circumstances on the Caribbean island in the past year.

Speaking with TMZ on Tuesday, Shark Tank star Barbara said her brother’s friend discovered his lifeless body on the floor of their suite.

But a post-mortem examination has never revealed his cause of death.

It is unclear which hotel John was staying in at the time.

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John Corcoran died in April while visiting the Dominican Republic
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Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, collapsed died in her room after having a drink from her minibar at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana, 70 miles west of Punta Cana

Five days later, Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead in their room at the neighbouring Grand Bahia Principe resort.

And it has since emerged Yvette Monique Short, 51, passed away she had a drink from the minibar.

David Harrison: July 2018

David Harrison, 45, from Maryland, US, died in July 2018 on a family holiday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

Before going to bed, Harrison reportedly fell ill and died the next day from pulmonary edema and heart attack.

His devastated widow Dawn McCoy said her husband was mumbling inanely and complained of a “very potent, strange smell”.

She also claimed officials repeatedly pressured her to cremate her husband as she was trying to figure out how to get his body back to the US.

She told People Magazine: “They kept trying to get me to cremate my husband. They kept telling me that it would be considerably cheaper to cremate him.”

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David Harrison, left,  died in July last year at the same Hard Rock Hotel resort under similar circumstances

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Dawn McCoy

Dawn McCoy, right, claims officials tried to bully her into a quickie cremation for her husband David Harrison[/caption]

Yvette Monique Short: June 2018

Yvette Monique Short, 51, passed away she had a drink from the minibar in June last year.

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Yvette Monique Sport died in June of 2018 at a Dominican Republic resort
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Chris Palmer: April 18, 2018

Army veteran Chris Palmer, 41, died on April 18, 2018.

Mr Palmer’s family were told he had pulmonary edema and that the official cause of death was a heart attack.

But Bernadette Hiller, a friend who had dated Palmer for about 10 years and saw him the week before he died the Villa Cocotal resort, said she doubts that explanation.

“As soon as he died, I wondered if he was poisoned, if he was drugged. He was healthy as a horse,” she told Fox News.

At some point, he told friends he was feeling ill and had a bad headache, said Ms Hiller.

He was later found dead in his room and the Dominican authorities said he choked on his own vomit.

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Army veteran Chris Palmer died while on holiday in the Dominican Republic

Barbara Diane Maser-Mitchell: September 17, 2016

Retired nurse Diane Maser-Mitchell died on September 17, 2016.

Her family was told that she too suffered a heart attack.

Ms Maser-Mitchell was staying at the Excellence resort in Punta Cana where she was celebrating her birthday with her son and his longtime companion.

After having cocktails on her second day at the resort she said she felt ill and went to her room, which was adjacent to her son’s room, according to her son’s companion, Terry Mackey.

He said that moderate drinker Ms Maser-Mitchell continued to feel ill and did not accompany them for breakfast.

She grew progressively worse and her family summoned the resort doctor, who asked her if she wanted to go to a hospital, according to Mackey.

Maser-Mitchell at first declined then said she would go but went into a state of cardiac arrest in the ambulance.

“I was sitting in the ambulance with her, holding her hand the whole time,” said Mr Mackey.

He said that as a nurse she would have known the symptoms of a heart attack but didn’t say that’s what was happening two her.

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The family of Barbara Diane Maser-Mitchell also passed away while holidaying on the island

What has the Dominican Republic said?

Dominican authorities have said post-mortem examinations revealed the tourists died of natural causes.

The country’s health ministry has blasted reports of the deaths branding them “fake news” aimed at harming its tourism industry.

Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero insisted that the Caribbean country shouldn’t be blamed for the series of tourist deaths.

“It’s all a hysteria against the Dominican Republic, to hurt our tourism, this is a very competitive industry and we get millions of tourists, we are a popular destination,” he told Fox News.

“The testing results are all negative, everything – the food, the alcohol, the air – is normal, there is no alteration of the alcohol.”

Representatives for two of the resorts where the victims died, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Bahia Principe, say the deaths are accidents.

 

Timeline of deaths

  • September 2016: Barbara Diane Maser-Mitchell, 69, from Pennsylvania dies after drinking cocktails at the  Punta Cana resort
  • April 2018: Army veteran Chris Palmer, 41, from Kansas, found dead at the Villa Cocotal Palma resort in Punta Cana
  • June 2018: Yvette Monique Sport, 51, of Glenside, Pennsylvania, dies after drinking from the minibar at at a Bahia Principe hotel in Punta Cana
  • July 2018: David Harrison dies while on holiday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana
  • April 2019: John Corcoran, brother of US TV star Barbara, dies from heart attack
  • April 14: Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California dies in hospital four days after falling ill
  • May 25: Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, of Pennsylvannia, dies within hours of consuming a drink from a resort minibar at Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana
  • May 30: Cynthia Day, 49, and Nathaniel Holmes, 63, of Maryland, are found dead in their hotel rooms
  • June 10: Leyla Cox, 53, of Staten Island, New York, is found dead in her hotel room
  • June 13: Joseph Allen, 55, from New Jersey, dies in room at the Terra Linda hotel in Sosua
  • June 24: Khalid Adkins, 46, was hospitalised in Santo Domingo, after falling ill as he boarded his flight home to Denver

 

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Some tourists died after drinking from their hotel room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana
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Other tourists have died at Bahia Principe resort in La Romana
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