A recent string of tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic has everyone questioning just how safe it is to visit the popular tropical destination.
While it hasn’t been confirmed that the fatalities are related, the circumstances surrounding the deaths are much too similar to ignore.
So should we continue traveling to this death trap?
The most recent death in the Dominican Republic was revealed to be John Corcoran, the brother of Shark Tank star and real estate mogul, Barbara Corcoran.
Barbara is heartbroken over the passing of her “favorite brother,” who was vacationing there and had been waiting for the arrival of his girlfriend when he died.
His body was discovered by a friend inside his hotel suite. Barbara told Yahoo Entertainment that preliminary news shows that her brother suffered a heart attack.
Yahoo Entertainment reported: “Two Americans died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana while four have died at various Bahia Principe resorts. It is unclear at which resort John was staying.”
Since the beginning of June, six tourists have died in the Dominican Republic—three from a heart attack and one from pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs).
A newly-engaged couple from Maryland died from respiratory and pulmonary edema in their hotel room at Bahia Principe La Romana.
In addition, the U.S. State Department recently confirmed another death that occurred in April.
Colorado native Robert Wallace was vacationing at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana when he fell ill after drinking a scotch from the mini bar.
Wallace’s niece, Chloe Arnold, explained that, “He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”
He died only three days later at a local hospital.
Wallace’s death didn’t seem odd at first. Contracting food borne illnesses overseas is not unheard of.
However, then a 41-year-old from Pennsylvania died after also having a drink from the mini bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana.
And 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner was also found dead in her hotel room of the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Resort.
What was the last thing she did? Enjoy a drink from the mini bar—although she was staying at a different hotel.
Schaup-Werner’s cause of death was a heart attack, but she also had fluid in her lungs and respiratory failure.
Further investigations are underway to determine whether these three deaths are related and what ultimately caused them.
The Rolling Stone reported that, “The FBI is working with Dominican Republic officials to determine whether there’s any link between the deaths, but toxicology report results aren’t expected for at least a month.”
Understandably, travelers are concerned about visiting a country where tourists are suddenly dying with no explanation.
Tourism minister for the Dominican Republic, Francisco Javier García, told the New York Times that the deaths are isolated incidents and vowed that the nation is still safe for tourists.
While the government issued an official warning about traveling to the Dominican Republic, it was for high crime.
However, Proud American Traveler also recently reported on Tammy Lawrence-Daley, who had been beaten nearly to death while staying at a resort in Punta Cana.
With the Dominican Republic becoming a growing safety concern, we may see a new travel warning issued very soon.
If you currently have plans to travel to the Dominican Republic, you may want to reconsider and choose a different tropical location.
Afterall, returning from vacation safe and sound is the best part.