#TSRUpdatez: A New Jersey man is at least the ninth American known to have passed away under mysterious circumstances while staying at a resort in the #DominicanRepublic.
Joseph Allen, 55, was found dead in his room at the Terra Linda Resort in Sosua, where he was celebrating a friend’s birthday, his family told @NBCNews today. He passed away last Thursday and now his family is demanding answers.
A representative for the Terra Linda Resort was not available for comment on Monday and Allen’s cause of death was not immediately reported.
Earlier we reported a 53-year-old U.S. tourist Leyla Cox passed away on June 10th in her hotel room, according to CNN.
The information was released Sunday night by the Excellence Resorts in Punta Cana.
Officials in the Dominican Republic have called the deaths “isolated events” as they work to reassure travelers their country is safe, but the families of these victims are understandably skeptical.
“In the last five years, over 30 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic, but this is the first time the international media report such an alarming situation,” Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said earlier this month. “These are isolated incidents and the Dominican Republic is a safe destination.”
Previously, the hotel told CNN that Cox felt sick and was taken to a hospital. But in a Sunday statement to CNN, the resort had a different story, saying that Cox, of Staten Island, New York, died in her hotel room.
The hotel gave the cause of death as heart attack, citing a forensics report but CNN reporters say they have not independently confirmed the contents of the report.
“We are deeply saddened by the recent incidents in the Dominican Republic,” the hotel’s statement said. “We understand that safety is a paramount concern for all travelers and we have always taken extensive measures to make safety a priority of all of our Excellence Punta Cana guests.”
Cox’s son expressed doubts over the hotel’s claims about his mother’s cause of death, saying he does not believe she died from “natural causes.”
“I truly believe if she was anywhere else in the world besides the Dominican Republic she’d be alive right now,” Will Cox told CNN affiliate WCBS. “I just hope for some answers.”
Stay here for any updates, Roommates.