Dominican police are investigating the deaths of an American couple found dead in the same Dominican Republic resort where a Pennsylvania woman collapsed and died just days before, shortly after she checked in.
The Regional Institute of Forensic Sciences says in an initial report that 63-year-old Edward Nathaniel Holmes and 49-year-old Cynthia Ann Day of Maryland appear to have suffered respiratory failure and fluid in the lungs. But it says further tests are required to determine more about the cause of death.
Officials say the couple arrived at the Bahia Principe hotel in La Romana on May 25, and planned to leave May 30, the day they were found after they failed to check out. Police say several bottles of medicine to treat high blood pressure were found on the scene.
CNN reports that Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, from Allentown Pennsylvania, had barely enjoyed a drink after checking in to Bahia Principe Hotel on May 25. She and her husband were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary. She had a drink at the hotel’s minibar before falling ill and collapsing suddenly in her room later on.
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It’s unclear whether the deaths are related. The U.S. State Department released the following statement to ABC 7 Chicago.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a State Department official said. “We are in close contact with local authorities regarding their investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
In both cases, the cause of death was listed as respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, ABC reports.
Schaup-Werner’s family said in a statement to ABC, “Was this a poisoning? Why wasn’t that question originally investigated by the local police? Is it just normally assumed that a healthy 41-year-old suddenly dies like this? Is this a pattern?”
According to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, Canadians were the second largest market for Dominican Republic tourism in 2017, with over 837,000 Canadians visiting the region. The United States remains the largest market t 2,073,963 visitors in 2017.
— With files from the Associated Press