United States

FBI Assists Investigation into Deaths of Maryland Couple in Dominican Republic

The FBI will assist in the death investigation of a Maryland couple who was found dead in a Dominican Republic hotel room, the U.S. Embassy says.

Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 50, were found dead May 30, five days after another American died after collapsing at a different hotel on the same resort property.

Their bodies were returned to the U.S. on Tuesday. The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic also announced Tuesday that Dominican authorities asked the FBI for assistance in toxicology analysis.

"We ask everyone to be patient while these investigations run their course," the statement read. The results could take up to 30 days.

Those toxicology reports are a vital step in determining the cause of Holmes' and Day's deaths. Both were found dead in their hotel room with "no signs of violence," Dominican Republic police said.

The attorney general for the Dominican Republic released preliminary autopsy results earlier this month, confirming both suffered respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.

The family doesn't believe the results of that examination, a relative of Day has said, and another autopsy in the U.S. is planned.

The deaths of the couple followed on the heels of the death of another American tourist, 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner,  a psychotherapist from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

A spokesperson for Schaup-Werner's family said she died May 25 from respiratory failure and pulmonary edema like Holmes and Day. The FBI will also provide toxicology analysis support in that case, the U.S. Embassy says.

Preliminary autopsy reports released by the Dominican Republic's Attorney General said that Schaup-Werner died of "heart attacks in the left ventricular wall, pulmonary edema and respiratory failure."

There is still some gray area, however. While the resort claimed that Schaup-Werner's husband confirmed she had a "history of heart conditions," a family spokesperson said she was healthy at the time of her trip.

On Monday a U.S. Department of State spokesperson confirmed the April 2019 death of another American tourist in the Dominican Republic. The spokesperson said investigations had not yet found any connection between the deaths. 

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