Another American tourist dies while staying at Dominican Republic resort

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(NBC) – A woman died earlier this week in the Dominican Republic, amid a spate of reported illnesses and deaths at resorts in the Caribbean country, according to the U.S. State Department.

Leyla Cox, 53, was staying at the Excellence resort in Punta Cana when she died Tuesday, her son, Will, told NBC News.

Meanwhile, another family has reported that their loved one died in the Dominican Republic in January.

Jerry Curran, 78, checked into the Dreams resort in Punta Cana on Jan. 22, and died three days later, his daughter, Kellie Brown, told NBC affiliate WKYCin Ohio. The U.S. State Department confirmed Friday that an American died in the Dominican Republic in January.

“He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back,” Brown said.

Authorities told the family that one of Curran’s causes of death was pulmonary edema, “which seems to be common in everyone else who’s passed that we’re learning about,” Brown said.

In May, Miranda Schaup-Werner and a couple, Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, died over a five-day period at the Bahia Principe resort in La Romana.

Holmes and Day were found dead in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana. Pulmonary edema — excess fluid in the lungs — was listed among the causes of death for the couple in preliminary reports.

Schaup-Werner, 41, and her husband checked into their room at the neighboring Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville on May 25, and after having a drink from the mini bar, she fell ill, according to the resort and her family. She died a short time later.

The FBI, which is investigating the three deaths, said further toxicology results on the Americans could take up to 30 days.

Since news of the deaths was reported, families have shared similar stories of their relatives mysteriously dying while staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic.

At least two died after taking a drink from the minibar, families said.

At least half a dozen people have reported abruptly falling ill while staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic. All of them said they stayed at Bahia Principe properties. At least one reported drinking from the minibar before getting sick.

A statement from Bahia Principe Resorts released Friday said, “We completely disagree with the dissemination of false information issued publicly which threatens the image and reputation of the company and the integrity and rights of our employees and their families, reserving, where necessary, the right to take appropriate legal action.”

The statement didn’t say which information hotel officials considered false, and added that the resort is cooperating with authorities’ investigations.

Neither the Excellence resort nor the Dreams resort immediately responded to requests for comment Friday.

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