State Department: Americans died of natural causes in Dominican Republic

By Danielle Haynes

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Toxicology tests on three Americans who died in the Dominican Republic earlier this year indicated they died of natural causes, the U.S. State Department said Friday.

The findings aligned with determinations made by local authorities after the deaths of Miranda Schaup-Werner on May 25, and Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes on May 30. They were among several American tourists who died in the Caribbean nation in the spring, prompting suspicions over the causes.


The toxicology results were "consistent with the findings of local authorities," a State Department official said in a statement to USA Today.

Schaup-Werner, 41, of Pennsylvania, died at the Grand Bahia Principe resort shortly after checking in with her husband. Her brother-in-law said she "abruptly experienced acute physical distress, and collapsed" after consuming a drink from the minibar.

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The Attorney General's Office of the Dominican Republic determined Schaup-Werner had a heart attack, pulmonary edema and respiratory failure.

Day, 49, and Holmes, the 63, a couple from Maryland, died while staying at the Luxury Bahia Bouganville resort. Hotel staff found the couple dead May 30 after they failed to check out of the resort on time.


Officials listed their cause of death as respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. They said both had internal bleeding, and Holmes had an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver, both existing diseases. Day also had fluid in her brain.

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The FBI assisted with local investigations, testing samples from hotel minibars for bacteria.

"Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time," the State Department said Friday in a statement.

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