Safety Concerns Peak After Multiple Deaths in Dominican Republic
What should have been a dream vacation for Americans visiting the Dominican Republic turned tragic last week when three at an all-inclusive resort mysteriously died, while a fourth tourist, at a different resort, was allegedly beaten and left for dead.
Miranda Schaup-Werner, of Pennsylvania, and Maryland couple Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, all checked into the Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts all-inclusive resort on May 25. Schaup-Werner died that same day, a full five days before the couple.
In a June 5 statement from Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts, the luxury property management organization gave its side of the events that led to three American deaths. Schaup-Werner’s determined cause of death was heart attack. There is no determined cause of death for the Maryland couple, but the resort says there was no violence involved.
The resort said the two incidents occurred at two different hotels and there is no clear connection between them.
“We have 2.7 million Americans that visit this country every year making the statistics surrounding this event very rare. They come to visit the beautiful beaches and enjoy the great culture. Unfortunately, sometimes these things happen to people,” said Robin Bernstein, U.S. ambassador, Dominican Republic.
Delaware Online reported in January, another woman, Tammy Lawrence-Daley, was attacked by someone wearing a hotel uniform, beaten and left for dead before being found eight hours later. Lawrence-Daley was staying at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana resort.
The resort issued a statement in response to the allegations from Lawrence-Daley. According to the resort, Lawrence-Daley’s own testimony about when she disappeared was not consistent with hotel records. In addition, Lawrence-Daley demanded $2.2 million in compensation from the attack. The incident is still under investigation.
The recent attention on the deaths in the country brought painful memories for other travelers back to the surface. According to a Fox5DC.com report, David Harrison died in a similar way on a trip to the Dominican Republic last July. Harrison and his wife were staying at a different resort.
The U.S. Department of State’s Dominican Republic travel advisory lists the island nation at two out of four, urging travelers to exercise increased caution due to crime.
When did you last travel to the Dominican Republic? Do the recent deaths concern you? Tell us. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.