Eighth Suspicious American Death in Dominican Republic Reported—Barbara Corcoran’s Brother

By Zachary Stieber

The eighth suspicious American death in the Dominican Republic in the last year came to light on June 12 and was identified as the brother of “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran.

Corcoran told TMZ that her brother, John, was in the country with a friend in April when he died. Officials there said his cause of death was a heart attack but Corcoran said she still hasn’t seen documents and doesn’t know if an autopsy was done.

John’s friend found the body but does not know what happened, Corcoran added.

According to TMZ, the 60-year-old was going to be joined by his girlfriend before he died. John has not had a funeral as of yet.

another dominican republic death
A man is seen on the beach in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic in a file photo. (Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

Corcoran did not disclose where her brother was staying when he passed away.

The death comes as at least seven other Americans have reportedly died in the Caribbean country in the last 12 months under suspicious circumstances, with the causes of death listed as one of or a combination of a heart attack, respiratory failure, and pulmonary edema, or a fluid build-up in the lungs.

The deaths began being reported after a Maryland couple, Cynthia Day, 49, and her fiance Nathaniel Holmes, 63, were found dead in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30.

Five days earlier, it was later revealed, as the couple was arriving at the resort, Pennsylvania woman Miranda Schaup-Werner suddenly collapsed and died at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, a hotel in the same resort.

Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana on May 28, 2019. (Danker Holmes/Facebook)

Families of other Americans who have died or gotten violently ill in the past year have been coming forward to tell their stories, saying the deaths have added to or triggered suspicions of what actually happened.

In one case, New Yorker Awilda Montes said she traveled to the Bouganville hotel in October 2018 and grabbed a bottle of soda from the minifridge in her room after arrival.

“When I took a swig of it, I kind of held it in my mouth the minute I held it, it just started burning,” Montes told Pix 11. “I ran to the bathroom when I spit it out there was blood, my mouth was on fire, my gums, everything was bleeding.”

She said she believes spitting out the liquid saved her life.

“I didn’t realize this could’ve been done on purpose, I just thought it was an accident someone mixed it up, but now I think it was done on purpose,” she said.

Relatives of a Californian man, 67-year-old Robert Bell Wallace, said that he was healthy before going to the Dominican Republic and staying at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana in April for his son-in-law’s wedding.

Tourists rest at Bavaro beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on Jan. 16, 2012. (Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

Wallace became sick at the resort and soon passed away.

“We didn’t find out until the next morning that he had passed, which is another weird thing,” Tickenhoff, Wallace’s son-in-law, told Fox 40. “My mom and brother had been in touch with the hospital and they didn’t reach out and tell us any answers until the next morning.”

Wallace’s illness started when he drank from a bottle of scotch he grabbed from the minibar in his room, his family said. They’ve since learned of the other deaths.

“It’s tough. I mean, you’re in the process of grieving a family member and then all these other instances come out where it just kind of adds to the pain of not knowing what happened,” Wallace’s son-in-law said.