3 Tourists Deaths in Dominican Republic Were Due to Natural Causes: FBI

October 19, 2019 Updated: October 20, 2019

FBI toxicology tests have confirmed that the deaths earlier this year of 3 American tourists in the Dominican Republic were due to natural causes, the U.S. State Department said, according to ABC.

According to the statement from the U.S. State Department, the tests were in conformity with those from the Dominican Republic authorities.

Miranda Schaupp-Werner, 41, Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were the American tourists in question.

Their deaths, along with other 8 Americans that died at the popular tourist site, triggered a wave of panic, with people seriously questioning the safety of the resorts and hotels in the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. State Department had noted that despite the deaths, there was no real increase in fatal accidents.

Hard Rock Resort in the Dominican Republic to Remove Minibars After Two US Tourist Deaths

After international attention turned to “all-inclusive resorts” after many American tourists suddenly fell ill and died in the Dominican Republic, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana took away all their alcohol dispensers in their guestroom minibars, according to their hotel management.

The hotel stated that they would hire an American healthcare company to “ensure the on-site health clinic is complying with all international and US standards,” Hard Rock told the New York Post in a statement.

All the food and drinks will be tested by a U.S. lab.

About 45 tourists have reported getting ill at the Hard Rock resort, according to The Post, and authorities are investigating if they were poisoned by bad liquor.

The top tourism official in the Dominican Republic minimized the series of deaths of the tourists as an exaggeration.

“It’s not true that there has been an avalanche of American tourists dying in our country, and it’s not true that we have mysterious deaths,” said Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, according to WTVR.

hard rock hotel
The entrance of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on June 20, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“We are deeply saddened by these unfortunate incidents, and extend our sincerest sympathy to the families of those affected,” Hard Rock said in the Friday statement. “Although the official reports state these incidents are unrelated, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana has taken steps, based on guest feedback, to improve the experience and enhance safety moving forward.”

“Today, June 21, 2019, the Ministry of Public Health in the Dominican Republic has released further information on the American tourists who passed away in 2019, including autopsy findings that reveal these deaths were unrelated and from natural causes and pre-existing conditions,” the resort’s statement said, Fox News reported. “We are deeply saddened by these unfortunate incidents, and extend our sincerest sympathy to the families of those affected. We will continue to respect the privacy of our guests and their families.”

“The safety and health of our guests is now, and has always been, our highest priority,” the statement continued. “Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana follows internationally recognized regulations regarding guest health, sanitation and security.”

According to the Hard Rock statement, their resort also implements “rigorous food and beverage protocols, including purchasing products from U.S. licensed and reputable vendors, as well as daily inspections of all products served throughout the hotel.”

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