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FBI Throws Cold Water on 'Poisoned Alcohol' Theory

Seems US tourists in the Dominican Republic died of natural causes after all
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2019 3:35 PM CDT
Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day.   (YouTube)
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(Newser) – Looks like three of the Americans found dead in the Dominican Republic in recent months died of natural causes, CNN reports. That's based on FBI toxicology tests of Nathaniel Holmes, Cynthia Day, and Miranda Schaup-Werner, whose May deaths helped trigger a scare over allegedly counterfeit or poisoned alcohol in the Caribbean nation. But the FBI—which gave no explanation for the deaths—did eliminate methanol poisoning from alcohol, per the New York Times. "Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time," per a State Dept. official, who said the US hasn't seen a rise in US deaths in the Dominican Republic. Over 2.7 million Americans visit the country annually.

That seems to support what Dominican authorities have said amid negative coverage of at least 11 recent American tourist deaths, ABC News reports. The Dominican Republic National Police have said Holmes and Day died of pulmonary edema and respiratory failure, and the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel, where Schaup-Werner stayed, gave the same cause. "We can see that many international media outlets are just going for it as news, just to get the headline, and they are not really getting into what’s going on," a Dominican tourist representative told the Washington Post in June. "The caricatures have been made, and some in media have done a lot of damage." (See what the brother of one dead US tourist has to say.)

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