Another American tourist has been found dead under mysterious circumstances in the Dominican Republic, bringing the total over the last year to seven by the Washington Post's count—or nine, according to NBC News. Following the death on June 10 or June 11 of Staten Island's Leyla Cox at Punta Cana's Excellence resort, reported by CNN as the eighth American death on the island over the last 12 months, New Jersey's Joseph Allen was discovered dead in his room at the Terra Linda Resort in Sosua last Thursday, per NJ.com. The latest:
- "The maid opens the door, screams, slams the door. My brother is on the floor dead, between his room and the bathroom," Jason Allen tells NBC. He says the 55-year-old had complained about the heat a day earlier, before heading to his room to take a shower and rest for the night. "I do think something is off."
- CNN reports Joseph Allen's son touched down in the DR just hours after his father's body was found. The two were to spend Father's Day together.
- Allen's sister tells ABC7 her family wasn't alarmed by her brother's trip to the DR amid the news of other deaths because he went there often, generally several times a year. She describes him as "for the most part healthy."
- Family members are coming out of the woodwork to report similar deaths in the DR, including some deaths attributed to heart attack at resorts where others died or fell ill, with many now questioning the official ruling.
- Though Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran believes her brother, 60-year-old John Corcoran, died of natural causes when he was found in his DR hotel room in April, as he was suffering heart problems, she notes no autopsy was performed.
- Toxicology tests are pending in several of the deaths, some of which reportedly came after drinks from the minibar were consumed. Tests have already shown three people found dead at resorts in May had enlarged hearts, internal bleeding, and pulmonary edema, also known as fluid in the lungs, reports the Post, which notes one couple who fell ill claims they were exposed to chemicals found in pesticides.
- CNN notes that no officials, either in the US or the DR, have drawn connections between the deaths, but CNN points out one coincidence: Three happened at the Bahia Principe resort in La Romana, and two at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.
- The Washington Post asks and answers 8 questions here, including one about toxicology tests.
(Nearly 50 Jimmy Buffett fans fell ill, too