US

Pennsylvania Woman Who Collapsed in Dominican Republic Died of Heart Attack: Officials

By Zachary Stieber

A Pennsylvania woman who collapsed at a Dominican Republic resort on May 25, five days before an American couple was found dead in their room at the same resort, died from a heart attack.

Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, was with her husband Daniel Werner when she had a drink from the minibar in her room before suddenly collapsing.

Officials are now saying the official cause of death has been determined.

“On the same day Mrs. Schaup-Werner arrived to the hotel, she was found unresponsive in her hotel room,” the resort, Bahia Principe, said in a statement, citing the Dominican National Institute of Forensic Sciences and the National Police Investigations Unit.

“Mrs. Schaup-Werner’s cause of death was determined to be a heart attack, aligning with official statements provided by Mr. Werner, who confirmed she had a history of heart conditions.”

The cause of death for Schaup-Werner and the American couple—Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes—was previously said to be respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, or excess fluid in the lungs.

Family members of the trio have spoken out about the deaths, suggesting three Americans dying in five days at the same resort was not coincidental.

“That was beyond coincidence,” a spokesperson for Schaup-Werner’s family, Jay McDonald, her brother-in-law, told Fox News. “They died five days after, and the cause was determined to be the same, this just puts this whole thing through the stratosphere—something is going on, and we want to know what it is.”

Sonya Jackson, the sister of Cynthia Day, told NBC that her family doubts the official diagnosis and wants a second autopsy done when the body is flown back to the United States.

Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day in a file photo. (Cynthia Day/Facebook)

But the resort says that there does not seem to be a connection between the deaths of the Pennsylvania woman and the Maryland couple.

“To date, there are no indications of any correlation between these two unfortunate incidents,” the resort company said in the statement. It added that the deaths of Holmes and Day are still being investigated and that toxicology results haven’t come back yet.

“There were no signs of violence,” the resort added. It said the guests were in different hotels—Schaup-Werner at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, Day and Holmes at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana—and that people should avoid “speculation and conjecture” about the case of the dead couple.

Miranda Schaup-Werner with her husband, Daniel Werner, in a file photo. (Miranda Werner/Facebook)

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 State Department stated.

“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.”

Other stories about Grand Principe have also emerged as news of the three deaths circulated: a Colorado couple said they got severely ill at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana in June 2018 and cited a diagnosis that pointed to the sickness being caused by pesticides used at the resort; a relative of another Pennsylvania woman said she died at the same resort in June 2018 from a supposed heart attack; and a Maryland woman said her husband died in the Dominican Republic last year in a similar fashion to the trio that recently passed away.