American Couple Dies in Dominican Republic Hotel of Respiratory Failure, Officials Say

June 3, 2019 Updated: June 3, 2019

Officials have revealed more details about the deaths of an American couple who died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were found dead on May 30 in their hotel room at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in San Pedro de Macorís, it was reported. They were slated to depart on the same day, and they were discovered dead after they missed their scheduled check-out time.

According to CNN, citing an autopsy report, officials said they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs.

They were found unresponsive in their room, hotel officials said.

“We are deeply saddened by the incident at one of our hotels in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends,” the statement from the hotel read, according to USA Today. “The staff immediately contacted the relevant local authorities which have initiated an investigation.”

Police said that their bodies showed there were no signs of violence, and several bottles of medicine to treat high blood pressure were found in their room, according to CNN.

Sonya Jackson, Cynthia’s sister, told NBC Washington that the two were engaged.

Dajuan Holmes-Hamilton, Nathaniel Holmes’ daughter, said she wants to know why they died.

“It should have never happened,” she told the news outlet.

The U.S. Department of State stated they are working with local authorities, People reported.

Meanwhile, the State Department has a level 2 travel advisory for the Dominican Republic.

“Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo. 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 State Department says.

Other details about the case are not clear.

Dominican Police Investing Attack on Woman

This week, police in the Dominican Republic are investigating an attack on a U.S. tourist in Punta Cana that the woman recently made public on social media, detailing a vicious hours-long assault by a man she said was wearing the uniform of an all-inclusive resort, according to The Associated Press.

Police spokesman Col. Frank Durán said that immediately after authorities heard of the January attack investigators went to the hospital where 51-year old Tammy Lawrence-Daley of Delaware was being treated, took her testimony and collected evidence from where she said the assault took place.

“There is a lot of conjecture about the case, a lot of information that doesn’t match some of the statements,” Durán said Friday. “We have to wait for the investigation to end.”

The resort where Lawrence-Daley was staying, the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana, said in a statement it was cooperating with authorities and would not comment further out of respect for the “dignity and integrity” of Lawrence-Daley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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