Tourists Keep Dying in the Dominican Republic-FBI Called in

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More than eight visitors to the Dominican Republic have now died. Each presumably drank from a minibar, and all met a dastardly end. Death.

January 22, 2018: Jerry Curran checks into the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana on January 22nd. “Three days after he arrived in the Dominican Republic he was dead,” says daughter Kellie Brown. The causes of death list Cerebral hypoxia, meaning no oxygen to the brain, pulmonary edema, meaning fluid in the lungs, subdural hematoma, meaning a brain bleed and severe encephalitic cranial trauma, meaning a traumatic brain injury.

June 2018: Yvette Monique Sport checks into the Bahia Principe resort in Punta Cana, has a drink from the mini bar, takes a shower, goes to bed. Dies in her sleep.

July 2018: David Harrison checks into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana. He starts to feel ill several days later. His wife noticed a “strange smell…a very potent smell” coming from her husband. He dies later that night while waiting for the resort doctor to arrive. The official cause of death is pulmonary edema and heart attack.

April 2019: Robert Bell Wallace checks into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana. He drinks a scotch from the mini bar. He becomes ill, is taken to the hospital and dies a few days later. Another heart attack.

May 25, 2019: Miranda Schaup-Werner checks into the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana. She has a drink from the minibar, collapses moments later and is pronounced dead when medical assistance arrives. Her death certificate mentions pulmonary edema and cardiac abnormalities. The cause of death is ruled a heart attack.

May 30, 2019: Edward Holmes and his fiancee, Cynthia Day check into the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana. Holmes contacts hotel staff, saying he is feeling unwell. He declined medical treatment. Both Edward and Cynthia were found dead in their hotel room when they did not check out on their scheduled day. A preliminary autopsy lists pulmonary edema, and internal bleeding, including in their pancreases. Holmes is listed as having an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver.

June 12 2019: Leyla Cox went on vacation to the Dominican Republic (june 5th) and was expected to return on June 12th. She was found dead in her hotel room. Apparent cause of death was a heart attack.

Officials believe moonshine may be to blame. Counterfeit booze given to tourists can be deadly if it is not prepared correctly.

Officials want to know who supplied the alcoholic beverages the victims drank in the minutes and hours before their deaths over the past year — and if the drinks had any dangerous chemicals in them, law enforcement sources said.

The FBI is assisting and will take blood samples from the dead back to its research center in Quantico, Va., a source said.


The FBI is conducting deeper analyses of toxicological results, the statement says, warning that conclusions may take up to a month and urging “patience during this process.”


In addition to the tourists deaths, a Pennsylvania couple has come forward to say that they experienced symptoms they first believed to be the result of food poisoning during their stay at the Baha Principe hotel last June. Susie Lauterborn reportedly experienced fever, vomiting, cold sweats, and a rash, while her husband Doug Hand suffered less severe symptoms. Hand told CBS3 Philadelphia that he recalled a strange, “moldy” smell upon the couple’s arrival to the hotel room.


My spidey senses were triggered when I heard about the first two, now there could be as many as eight, maybe more, victims of what appears to be a type of poisoning.

Besides bootleg liquor, several other toxic substances could cause these symptoms and ultimate end: high doses of lithium, CO poisoning, Ricin, Organochlorine insecticides, aluminum phosphide , nickel carbonyl, and Phosgene (which happens to have a very musty smell), just to name a few.

Methanol poisoning however, the toxic substance found in bootleg liquor, given the circumstances shared by the victims, seems to be the likely cause. Symptoms include intense stomach pain, sudden blindness, vomiting, and heart failure.

Bootleg liquor is a big business, as many cannot afford high quality label libations. In February 2019, bootleg liquor killed 150 people in India. More methanol poisonings are listed on wikipedia here:

Once toxicology reports come back from the FBI, we’ll learn more about the cause.


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