The U.S. Ambassador said recent high-profile incidents in the Dominican Republic were random, isolated cases

By Joelle Goldstein and Greg Hanlon
June 05, 2019 11:32 AM
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Editor’s note: In a statement issued Wednesday after the publication of this article, the Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts said Miranda Schaup-Werner died of a heart attack, disputing the claim of her family spokesperson that she died of respiratory failure.

The resort’s statement cites statements from the National Institute of Forensic Sciences and the National Police Investigations Unit as “aligning with official statements provided by [the woman’s husband], who confirmed she had a history of heart conditions.”

Univision reports that Robin Bernstein, the ambassador of the United States to the Dominican Republic, said recent high-profile incidents involving American tourists in the Caribbean island nation were isolated cases.

“We have 2.7 million Americans who come to the country and the statistics is that this is a very … unique event,” Bernstein said. “They come to visit the beautiful beaches and enjoy the great culture. Unfortunately sometimes those things happen to people.”

Over a five-day period in May, three American tourists died in the same resort in the Dominican Republic, all reportedly of respiratory failure and fluid accumulation in their lungs.

It is not known what brought about the fatal episodes of the victims who died in their rooms at the La Romana resorts. But a relative of Miranda Schaup-Werner’s, the Pennsylvania woman who died five days before engaged couple Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day were found dead, believes the deaths are no coincidence.

“They died five days after, and the cause was determined to be the same, this just puts this whole thing through the stratosphere,” Jay McDonald, who is acting as the family spokesman for his brother-in-law, Daniel Werner, Miranda’s husband, told Fox News.

“Something is going on, and we want to know what it is.”

Miranda Schaup-Werner Danker Holmes and Cyndi Day
Credit: Twitter; Facebook

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department confirmed the three Americans tourists’ deaths to PEOPLE.

“We can confirm the recent deaths of three U.S. citizens in La Romana, the Dominican Republic – Nathaniel Edward Holmes, Cynthia Ann Day, and Miranda Schaup-Werner. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families for their loss,” a Department of State Official wrote.

“The U.S. Embassy is actively monitoring the investigations by Dominican authorities into these tragic deaths. We stand ready to provide assistance as requested,” they added.

Miranda Schaup-Werner2
Miranda Schaup-Werner and Daniel Werner

Schaup-Werner, an Allentown, Pennsylvania psychotherapist, 41, collapsed shortly after mixing a drink from the minibar in the hotel she’d recently checked into to celebrate her 9th wedding anniversary with husband Daniel Werner.

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“Suddenly, she called out to Dan and he came right over and she was unable to breathe. She collapsed, she couldn’t communicate,” McDonald told Fox New.

Werner attempted CPR and called for help, and responding paramedics administered an epinephrine injection, typically used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, but Schaup-Werner was declared dead soon after.

RELATED VIDEO: Woman Speaks Out After Being Attacked and Left for Dead at a Dominican Republic All-Inclusive Resort

“It was very sudden,” McDonald said. “[Daniel] said one moment [Miranda was] taking pictures, smiling, happy and the next moment, in extreme pain and collapsing… she had no known health issues that I knew of.”

Five days later, on May 30th, Holmes and Day were found dead by staff in their room after missing their scheduled checkout. There were no signs of violence and toxicology results are pending.

Punta Cana Tourism Police spokesman Ramon Brito described the couple’s mysterious deaths to The Washington Post as “a bit unusual.”

Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day
Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day
| Credit: Facebook

Before they died, the couple shared photos of themselves on the beach, out for dinner and with friends.

“Can somebody please loan me $250,000 bcuz I don’t want to come home!!!!!” Holmes captioned a series of photos with Day.