Families of 2 Tourists Found Dead in Dominican Republic Haven’t Been Given Any Information on Deaths: Reports

October 20, 2019 Updated: October 20, 2019

The FBI has confirmed that three Americans who were found in the Dominican Republic resorts earlier this year died of natural causes. But a spokesman for the families of Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, said they’ve received no word on their deaths.

The agency performed toxicology tests on the tourists before making the confirmation, it was reported.

A statement from the U.S. Department of State on Friday said the results were consistent with the findings of local authorities, ABC News reported.

“The Day and Holmes families have not been provided with any information from the FBI or the Dominican Republic Authorities regarding the deaths,” Steven Bullock, a family spokesman, said in a statement to ABC News.

He said, “The only information that has been received by the families is what is being reported in the media. Our investigation is continuing, and we will not have any further comment until we receive the results of our investigation. Thank you.”

But according to the ABC News report, the families of the three were informed by the FBI of the latest findings on their loved ones’ causes of death.

A third tourist, Melinda Schaup-Werner, is determined to have died of a heart attack, People magazine reported. She was found dead at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel on May 25.

“Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Day and Holmes were found dead at their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Resort in San Pedro de Macoris days later.

A family spokesman for the families of Holmes and Day said that officials haven’t provided them with any updates.

Government Response

The Dominican government has said that the number of deaths is not out of the ordinary, adding that they aren’t related.

Autopsies show the tourists died of natural causes, Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García told reporters. He said five of the autopsies are complete, and three are undergoing further toxicological analysis with the help from the FBI because of the circumstances of the deaths.

With some 3.2 million U.S. tourists visiting the Dominican Republic last year, he said, it’s not unusual for eight people to die while on vacation over any six-month period. Dominican officials say they are confident the three deaths still under investigation were also from natural causes.

“We want the truth to prevail,” García said, according to The Associated Press. “There is nothing to hide here.”

The first deaths to make headlines, and still the most mysterious, were those of a couple who seemingly died at the same time in the same hotel room. The bodies of Holmes and Day were found May 30 in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana hotel. Several medications were found in the room, including an anti-inflammatory drug, an opioid, and blood-pressure medicine, Garcia said.

Autopsies found pulmonary edema, an accumulation of fluid in the lungs frequently caused by heart disease.

Soon after the couple’s death, family members appeared in U.S. media reports questioning the death of Schaup-Werner, 41, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, who died May 25 at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel. A family spokesman told reporters that she collapsed after getting a drink from the minibar.

An autopsy found that she died of a heart attack, García said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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