Updates: Timeline of American Deaths in the Dominican Republic

Updates: Timeline of American Deaths in the Dominican Republic
Miranda Schaup-Werner in a file photo. She died in the Dominican Republic on May 25, 2019. (Miranda Werner/Facebook)

The number of suspicious American deaths in the Dominican Republic in the last 12 months has reached 15.

Last updated on July 1.

See a timeline below.

June 2018: A Colorado couple said they got violently ill while staying at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana. They tried switching rooms, but to no avail.

“That night, we both woke up soaked in sweat at like four in the morning and kind of terrified,” Kaylynn Knull told ABC 7. “And we booked a flight home before the sun came up.”

A doctor in Colorado, where they reside, told them they had likely been poisoned by pesticides that Knull said were used liberally at the resort.

“I was having the worst intestinal cramping I have ever experienced. It felt like a chainsaw going through my gut,” she said.

The couple sued the resort, requesting $1 million, after the resort refused to issue a refund or disclose the pesticides they use. A Philadelphia couple also came forward to say they got violently ill at the same hotel around the same time.

That same month, 51-year-old Yvette Monique Sport of Pennsylvania died after suddenly collapsing after she got a drink from the minibar in her room at a Bahia Principe resort in Punta Cana.

“She was 51 years of age, relatively healthy, no reason for her to go on vacation and die so suddenly,” Nieves told Fox 29.

Sport got a drink from the mini bar in her hotel room before going to bed and never waking up, her family said. Her cause of death was listed as a heart attack.

An Arizona man later said that his father died in June 2018 in Punta Cana. Mark Hurlbut Jr. said that he thinks the death of his father, Mark Hurlbut Sr., may be linked to the spate of deaths.

July 2018: A Maryland man died while on a trip with his family at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

David Harrison became ill and went to sleep; when he woke up, he was sweating profusely, his wife Dawn McCoy told WTOP.

“He couldn’t sit up, and he was making noises that … you couldn’t make out. He was struggling quite a bit to get out of bed and to talk,” said McCoy. “I tried to communicate with him and all he could do was mumble.”

Her husband was soon pronounced dead. Harrison was cleared by a doctor before the trip. The official cause of death was pulmonary edema and a heart attack.

“I started seeing all these other people that were dying of the same exact causes, which made me start to second guess. I no longer feel like my husband died of natural causes,” McCoy said.

August 2018: Terrence Richmond, 56, died on Aug. 29. Annette Wedington, his mother, said that officials ruled his cause of death as a heart attack but that she found bruising to his back and trauma on his knuckles when the body was transported to the United States.

According to the autopsy, Howard had fluid in his lungs and a cracked skull.

She told WJZ she thinks her son was in a struggle before his death.

“He was healthy. I know they’re lying. I just want closure,” she said.

“They kept my son’s body over there for more than a month. He has bruising on his back like he had been kicked. I just think about it sometimes and I want to cry.”

October 2018: Awilda Montes, a New York woman, traveled with her boyfriend to the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville.

After arriving in their room, Montes took a swig from a bottle of soda she grabbed out of the mini-fridge.

“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 was rushed to a hospital, where doctors treated her. She said that spitting out the soda likely saved her life and now thinks someone spiked the drink.

“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.

Jan. 2019: A Delaware woman says she was brutally beaten and left for dead at the Majestic Elegance resort.

Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, shared details about the alleged attack on Facebook.

Dominican officials disputed some aspects of her account.

During the same month, Ohio father Jerry Curran died three days after arriving in the country.

“He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back,” daughter Kellie Brown told WKYC.

“I thought something’s not right my father was a healthy 78-year-old, he took care of himself and I just didn’t think anything like this was possible, but then I started to hear other people’s stories.”

April 2019: A 67-year-old Californian man, whose niece said he was healthy, died after collapsing in his hotel room.

Robert Bell Wallace had a scotch in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana, his niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News.

“He was fine,” Arnold said. “He and his wife arrived there at around midnight on April 10. On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”

A hotel doctor cleared Arnold, then said on April 13 that he should be checked into a hospital. The man died the next day. The family has not been told what caused Wallace’s death. “We have so many questions,” Arnold said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

During the same month, “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran’s brother John Corcoran died, she said on June 12. His family later said that they believe the death was from natural causes.

NTD Photo
Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, in a file photo, were found dead in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30, 2019. (Cynthia Day/Facebook)

May 2019: On May 25, Pennsylvania woman Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, collapsed while drinking in her room at the Bahia Principe Bouganville.

Jay McDonald, a family spokesperson, told Fox News that the woman, who was healthy, had a drink before sitting down and snapping a selfie. She stood up and then collapsed.

“She started shrieking and she dropped to the floor. He attempted to do CPR, he tried to resuscitate her,” he said. Paramedics rushed to the room and injected her with epinephrine, a treatment for allergies, before declaring her dead.

The same day of the death, Maryland couple Cynthia Day, 49, and, Nathaniel Holmes, 63, arrived at the same resort, checking into the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana. They were found dead in their room five days later.

Autopsies indicated they died from respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs, though toxicology results are pending.

NTD Photo
Investigative police collect evidence at the site where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot the previous night inside the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (Luis Gomez/AP Photo)

June 2019: Retired Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was ambushed outside a club in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, and shot in the back.

Ortiz was rushed to the hospital, stabilized, and later flown to the United States.

Video footage showed the attack and one of the suspects being beaten by bystanders afterward.

Several deaths were reported in June.

Leyla Cox, a 53-year-old New Yorker, died on June 10 at the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana. A New Jersey man, 55-year-old Joseph Allen, was found dead in his hotel room at the Terra Linda Resort in Sosua on June 13. Another New Yorker, Vittorio Caruso, 56, was found dead at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo on June 17. Authorities said he died of heart failure. Donette Edge Cannon, a New York mother-of-four, was reported dead on June 21.

The latest death was Khalid Adkins, a Colorado man who became so sick that an airline refused to fly him back to the United States shortly before he died. Adkins died on June 26.