American Couple Found Dead at Dominican Republic Resort

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
June 1, 2019 Updated: June 3, 2019

A Maryland couple has been found dead at a resort in the Dominican Republic, a discovery that came during the same week a Delaware woman said she was severely beaten at a resort in the Caribbean nation.

Cynthia Day, 49, and her fiance, Nathaniel Holmes, 63, were found dead in their room at the Bahia Principe hotel on May 30, reported the Dominican Today. The hotel is inside the Playa Neuva Romana resort.

An official told the local outlet that the cause of death for both victims has not been pinpointed as of yet, but that the bodies showed no indications of violence.

The couple arrived at the resort on May 25 and were due to leave the day they were found deceased.

The deaths were confirmed by the United States Embassy, Sonya Jackson, Day’s sister, told NBC Washington. Holmes’s sister said that she’d spoken to her brother as he was on vacation and he told her he “was having a great time.”

The U.S. State Department currently has a level 2 travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, which sits on an island in the Caribbean bordering Haiti.

“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 stated.

The deaths of Day and Holmes came as a Delaware woman revealed that she was brutally assaulted while on vacation in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, shared the details with people on Facebook, warning them to be cautious while traveling.

She said she went to get a snack, telling her husband she’d be back soon. As she walked in a resort, she was attacked by a man wearing a hotel uniform and shoved into a maintenance room, where he severely assaulted her, leaving her with nerve damage, a “ripped” open mouth, and a broken nose, among a slew of other injuries.

“This man thought he killed me, but he failed. He is still out there, a predator, waiting for his next victim,” she wrote, while she urged people to “be smart, be safe” in unfamiliar places.

She said it didn’t seem likely that the perpetrator would be found. A Dominican police spokesman told The Associated Press that investigators are still probing the attack, months after it happened in January.

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

The bodies of a New York couple vacationing in the country were found in April. Orlando Moore, 43, and his girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle, 32, were reported missing after they suddenly disappeared during a romantic getaway; the bodies were from a car accident.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.