The mysterious deaths of at least nine American tourists at resorts in the #DominicanRepublic have prompted U.S. authorities to step in and investigate.
There has been speculation that at least some of their deaths may be linked to tainted alcohol and now, the #FBI is reportedly analyzing alcohol samples from at least one minibar at the popular Bahia Principe resort to see if the hotel’s liquor is, in fact, to blame for their deaths, according to @CNN.
Ministry of Health communications director Carlos Suero told CNN today that toxicology tests were being run on the samples to see if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Suero added that an extensive collection of samples is taken by Domincan authorities when someone dies in a hotel room.
Minibars are tested for bacteria and water from showers, and sinks are examined as well, he said. The FBI is assisting with the toxicology tests of three of the nine Americans who have died in the Dominican Republic in the past year. Last week the US Embassy announced the FBI’s involvement in toxicology analysis and said results might take up to 30 days.
Officials in the DR have maintained that these deaths are isolated events as they work to reassure travelers their country is safe.
The family of 55-year-old Joseph Allen, one of the American tourists who died there in recent months, wants pathologists in the U.S. to examine his body for a cause of death, his brother told CNN on Wednesday.
Allen, of New Jersey, was found dead last week in his hotel room, his family said, making him at least the ninth US tourist to die at a Dominican Republic resort, or after becoming ill at one, over the past 13 months.
Preliminary autopsy results suggest Allen suffered from cardiac arrest. There were reportedly no signs of violence, according to a report Dominican authorities gave to CNN.
But Allen’s brother said that a doctor had just given his brother a clean bill of health during a physical and he is having a hard time understanding how Allen could have died suddenly. The family is arranging for the body to return to the US.
“If we don’t feel like we’re getting the help we need from (Dominican authorities) and the answers we need from them, we’d like to get some kind of testing done on American soil by American doctors to help us to understand what could have been the cause of my brother’s death,” Jason Allen said.
We’ll keep you updated on this story, Roommates!