An American couple found dead in their hotel room while holidaying in the Dominican Republic died of respiratory failure on May 30, the country’s national police have said.
A statement from the Dominican Republic National Police said that an autopsy concluded that the couple had respiratory failure and pulmonary edema—a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs.
Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, missed their scheduled check out time at the Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana. That’s when hotel staff members went into their room and found the couple unresponsive on Thursday, said spokesman Frank Felix Duran Mejia of the Dominican Republic National Police.
There were no signs of violence in the room.
The police confirmed that various medications meant to treat high blood pressure were found in the room.
Relatives told CNN affiliate WBAL that Holmes and Day were engaged. They were from Prince George’s County, Maryland, and were supposed to fly back home the day they were found, the station reported.
The couple’s bodies were transported by local authorities to the Dominican National Institute of Forensic Sciences for an exam.
The deaths were confirmed by the United States Embassy, Sonya Jackson, Day’s sister, told NBC Washington. Holmes’s sister said that she’d spoken to her brother as he was on vacation and he told her he “was having a great time.”
The U.S. State Department currently has a level 2 travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, which sits on an island in the Caribbean bordering Haiti.
“Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo. The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale,” the State Department stated.
“We are deeply saddened by the incident at one of our hotels in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends,” Bahia Principe Hotels said in a statement.
Assaulted on Vacation
The deaths of Day and Holmes came as a Delaware woman revealed that she was brutally assaulted while on vacation in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.
Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, shared the details on Facebook, warning everyone to be cautious while traveling.
She said she went to get a snack, telling her husband she’d be back soon. As she walked through the resort, she was attacked by a man who was allegedly wearing a hotel uniform and shoved into a maintenance room.
Lawrence-Daley was severely assaulted, leaving her with nerve damage, a “ripped” open mouth, and a broken nose, among a slew of other injuries.
“This man thought he killed me, but he failed. He is still out there, a predator, waiting for his next victim,” she wrote, while she urged people to “be smart, be safe” in unfamiliar places.
A Dominican police spokesman told The Associated Press that investigators are still probing the attack, months after it happened in January.
“There is a lot of conjecture about the case, a lot of information that doesn’t match some of the statements,” Col. Frank Durán said. “We have to wait for the investigation to end.”
NTD writer Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.