‘Everything Was Bleeding:’ Woman Says She Was Poisoned at Dominican Republic Resort Where 3 Americans Died

June 8, 2019 Updated: June 8, 2019

A New York woman said that she got sick at the Dominican Republic resort where three Americans were found dead and now believes she was poisoned.

Awilda Montes said that she and her boyfriend at the time arrived at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in October 2018 and went to their room.

Montes took a bottle of soda out of the minifridge in the room and swallowed some.

“When I took a swig of it, I kind of held it in my mouth the minute I held it, it just started burning,” Montes told Pix 11. “I ran to the bathroom when I spit it out there was blood, my mouth was on fire, my gums, everything was bleeding.”

She was rushed to a hospital, where doctors treated her. She said that spitting out the soda likely saved her life and now thinks someone spiked the drink.

“I didn’t realize this could’ve been done on purpose, I just thought it was an accident someone mixed it up, but now I think it was done on purpose,” she said.

Montes said she’s not planning on filing a lawsuit but wanted her story to be heard.

Miranda Schaup-Werner, a Pennsylvania woman, was at the same hotel when she collapsed on May 25 and was pronounced dead. Officials said she died of a heart attack.

Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes, a Maryland couple, were found dead in another hotel, the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, at the same resort on May 30. Preliminary results indicated they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs, but officials said toxicology results for the couple are pending.

Miranda Schaup-Werner with her husband,
Miranda Schaup-Werner with her husband, Daniel Werner, in a file photo. (MirandaWerner/Facebook)
Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day in a file photo. (Cynthia Day/Facebook)

Family members of another Pennsylvania woman revealed recently that she was staying at the resort in June 2018 when she collapsed and was soon pronounced dead. The circumstances were similar to the stories of Montes and Schaup-Werner, who had both gotten drinks from the minibars in their rooms. A Colorado woman said that she underwent a near-death ordeal at the resort during the same month.

Kaylynn Knull and her boyfriend, Tom Schwander, traveled to the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana in June 2018. She said the trip started out well but quickly got worse when the couple chose not to buy a timeshare at the resort.

As soon as we came back to the room, we noticed it smelled like somebody had dumped paint everywhere,” Knull told ABC 7. “We were drooling excessively. My eyes would not stop watering.”

They were granted a request to change rooms but the symptoms persisted.

“That night, we both woke up soaked in sweat at like four in the morning and kind of terrified,” she said. “And we booked a flight home before the sun came up.”

A doctor in Colorado, where they reside, told them they had likely been poisoned by pesticides that Knull said were used liberally at the resort.

“I was having the worst intestinal cramping I have ever experienced. It felt like a chainsaw going through my gut,” she said.

The couple sued the resort, requesting $1 million, after the resort refused to issue a refund or disclose the pesticides they use.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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