With summer just around the bend, you’re probably making plans for vacation.
Of course, going somewhere tropical is always ideal with sunshine, sand, and crystal blue waters.
Tropical resorts give you all of that and more. But with a series of recent tragedies, it’s become clear that not every tropical getaway is safe.
Last week, a newly engaged couple from Maryland were found dead in their hotel room.
The happy duo wasn’t in a dangerous metropolitan city. Where were they?
They were in the popular Punta Cana all-inclusive resort Grand Bahia Principe Hotel La Romana.
“The bodies of Holmes, 63, and Day, 49, were found Thursday by an employee of the Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana who went to their room after they failed to check out, according to multiple published reports. The couple were scheduled to return to the U.S. that day,” Fox News reported.
Friends had spoken with the couple only days prior, who had reported they were happy and excited to return home to begin their lives together.
The local paper, Diario Libre, reported that a hotel employee had spoken with Holmes when he called the front desk about feeling ill, but nothing was ever done from there.
It still remains unknown what exactly happened that night, but it is certain that the couple went for a romantic getaway and never woke up alive.
A spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police, Frank Felix Duran Mejia, said that the authorities did not see evidence of violence.
Unfortunately, that is more than one Delaware woman can say about her trip to the Dominican Republic.
Just days before the tragedy of Holmes and Day in Punta Cana, the woman described being attacked.
“The Delaware woman, Tammy Lawrence-Daley, said she was attacked in Punta Cana, which is a popular tourist area. She said that her attacker wore a uniform that indicated he was an employee of the all-inclusive resort in which she was saying,” Fox News reported.
Lawrence-Daley stayed at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana with her husband and some friends, just like thousands of other eager travelers before her.
All was going well until she ventured out alone one night to get a snack at a nearby location on the resort’s premises.
Lawrence-Daley was suddenly ambushed from behind and forced into a nearby maintenance room.
NBC News reported on Lawrence-Daley’s thoughts in that terrifying moment:
“I took about 10 or so steps just swinging my wristlet back and forth, not a care in the world. That’s when I heard it. Heavy footsteps… one, two, three, four, then they sped up, and then before I could react I was plowed into from behind and immediately immobilized.”
Throughout the horrifying assault, Lawrence-Daley tried to defend herself, but the assailant was “too strong.”
It took 8 hours before she was found, and when she was, the sight was beyond scary.
The victim told NBC News:
“I was strangled multiple times to unconsciousness. My lifeless body was drug down concrete stairs to an underground waste water area. I was kicked in the head, I was beaten with a club. And then strangled again for the kill; at which time he disposed of my body into an area I refer to as the ‘hole’.”
Lawrence-Daley’s beaten and bruised face was posted to social media to bring awareness to the dangers of visiting the country.
“It looks like paradise, it feels safe in these areas, there’s gates to get in, there’s security everywhere,” she said. “However, it’s not necessarily safe. You have to be aware. You have to be aware of where you are.”
Punta Cana does have a lot to offer, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported, and there are several precautions women can take when traveling alone, however some places are better left uncharted until crime and violence subsides.
Just this April the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for the Dominican Republic which read:
“Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale.”
It is every travelers worst fear to fall victim to a crime or assault while taking a much deserved vacation.
But countries do go through their own ebb and flow of stability, so hopefully it won’t be too long until the Dominican Republic is safe for that perfect tropical getaway.
But if you do insist on travelling there during this concerning time, please exercise caution and play it smart.
Sinking into a bed of Egyptian cotton sheets while a light ocean breeze lulls you to sleep is definitely not worth the experience if it’s the last one you’ll ever have.
Please tell us in the comments section if you’ve endured an attack or robbery while on vacation or travelling.