Woman Says Husband Died in Dominican Republic Last Year in Similar Fashion to Americans Who Passed Away

By Zachary Stieber

A Maryland woman said that her husband died while in the Dominican Republic last year in circumstances eerily similar to those of three Americans who recently died in the Caribbean country.

Dawn McCoy said she was planning on traveling to where her husband David Harrison died to mark the one-year anniversary of his death but said that the recent news prompted her to cancel her trip.

“When it came up that they died from the same exact thing as my husband I thought ‘No, no…. there’s no way two people could die of the same exact thing,’” she told Fox 5.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said that Miranda Schaup-Werner, Cynthia Day, and Nathaniel Holmes all died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, or excess fluid in the lungs.

The autopsy for Harrison listed pulmonary edema in addition to a heart attack.

His wife said he was 45 when he woke up on the fateful morning and was not able to breathe. She called for help but it took over 20 minutes for a doctor to arrive.

She made clear they did not stay at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, where the three Americans who recently died all stayed. She said it cost $20,000 to get her husband’s body home.

“The hotel doctor costed almost $3,000 and they would not let us check out until I paid that,” said McCoy. “It’s like a scab reopened.”

She said she now thinks she should not have had Harrison cremated before getting a second autopsy done. The families of Schaup-Werner, Day, and Homles have all indicated they plan to have another autopsy done when the bodies arrive in America.

According to Harrison’s obituary, he died on July 14 while in the Dominican Republic with his family.

“David was an avid Redskin and Capitals fan, thank goodness the Capitals won the Stanley cup before he passed. If there was anywhere David loved to be was with his family in the Caribbean, and he was a master of DIY around the house. David was an amazing father and husband and took extreme pride in his son who was his heart and joy. David was loved, cherished, and will forever be missed,” it stated.

“David loved spending time with his family and friends, he had a smile that was infectious and would light up a room, he never met a person he didn’t like.”

In addition to being survived by his wife, Harrison was survived by his parents, his son, multiple cousins, and some other family members.

Miranda Schaup-Werner of Pennsylvania in a file photo. (Miranda Werner/Twitter)
Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, both of Maryland, in a file photo. (Cynthia Day/Facebook)

State Department

The U.S. State Department has confirmed the deaths of Schaup-Werner, Day, and Holmes but said it couldn’t disclose details about any of them.

The 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.”