Dominican Official: Maryland Woman Likely Died ‘From the Shock of Seeing the Person Beside Her Dead’

June 20, 2019 Updated: June 20, 2019

A Dominican Republic official said that an American tourist found dead on May 30 likely died from the shock of seeing her fiancé die.

Cynthia Day, 49, and Nathaniel Holmes, 63, were found dead in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana. The couple was from Maryland.

Dominican Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero told Fox News that Holmes died first and Day’s death was “probably from the shock of seeing the person beside her dead.”

Suero said that the reporting on the deaths of American tourists—the number has climbed to 12 deaths in the past year—is being fueled by “hysteria” and is part of an attempt to harm the country’s tourism industry.

Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana on May 26, 2019, four days before their deaths. (Danker Holmes/Facebook)

He shed further insight into the government’s analysis into the deaths of the Maryland couple, saying there they did not die under suspicious circumstances.

“They had a lot of medical conditions. There were many bottles of prescription medication in their room,” Suero said. “They practically carried around a pharmacy with them. They had pills for blood pressure, for the heart, they had anti-depressants. When you get on an airplane and travel with all that medical [baggage], this can happen.”

And he said that Holmes told employees at the hotel on May 29 that he wasn’t feeling well, but after learning how much it would cost to get treatment, he declined.

Map of Dominican Republic
Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes were found dead on May 30, 2019, at a resort in La Romana. Five days earlier, a Pennsylvania woman, Miranda Schaup-Werner, died at a nearby hotel in the same resort. (CNN)

“He said he’d just wait to get back to the U.S. the next day and go to his regular doctor,” Suero said.

The Dominican national police had previously released a statement blaming the deaths on pre-existing conditions.

“The evidence in the room shows that they might have died from high blood pressure from the heart. We found a lot of medicine used to treat that illness and according to the medical history the family provided, both of them had high blood pressure,” the statement read.

dominican republic beach
A man is seen on a beach in the Dominican Republic in a file photo. There have been 12 deaths of American tourists reported in the past year under suspicious circumstances. (Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

Family Has Doubts

Relatives of Day and Holmes have expressed doubt that they died of natural causes and indicated they were going to have additional testing done when the bodies were transported to the United States. The bodies arrived in the country on June 11.

Autopsies showed that they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs.

Day’s sister Sonya Jackson told NBC that the family doubts respiratory issues caused the deaths of the couple and said there would be a second autopsy done once the bodies were flown to the United States.

Steven Bullock, a lawyer for the families, said that a second autopsy would be done for both Day and Holmes.

He told People magazine that the families were also waiting for the results of toxicology tests done in the Dominican Republic.

“The families of Cynthia Ann Day and Nathaniel Edward Holmes would like to thank the community for their condolences and support in their loss. We are continuing to investigate the exact cause of death,” Bullock said.

“The families are determined to find out what happened and why. At this time the cause of death remains a mystery. We look forward to getting the FBI findings.”

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