Shark Tank Star Barbara Corcoran's Brother Dies of a Heart Attack in the Dominican Republic
Although the 64-year-old died in the same country as several mysterious deaths, his family tells PEOPLE that they have the answers they need
The brother of ‘Shark Tank’ star Barbara Corcoran died in the Dominican Republic in April — but his family tells PEOPLE that his death was unrelated to the recent mysterious deaths of several American tourists.
John Corcoran, 64, was on vacation with a longtime friend when he had a heart attack, his family tells PEOPLE. Although reports published Wednesday alleged that his death was mysterious, his daughter says they have all the answers that they need and are moving forward with the grieving process.
“My father had a heart condition,” Nichole Lande tells PEOPLE, “so his death didn’t come as a complete shock to us. Obviously, we didn’t expect him to die, and we are devastated. But it’s just a coincidence that it happened in the Dominican Republic like those other deaths.”
Unlike the other deaths that happened at resorts in Punta Cana, John’s situation was completely different.
“They were staying at a private home,” Lande continues. “There was no minibar, no malfunctioning air conditioner, nothing like the other cases. So this isn’t a mystery to us.
“It’s just the sad loss of a father and grandfather who everyone is missing right now. He was a loving, wonderful man from a big family, and lots of people are mourning his loss.”
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TMZ, which first reported news of John’s death after speaking to his famous sister, suggested there could be a link between the 64-year-old’s passing and those of six other Americans who mysteriously died at resorts in Punta Cana. The website reports there was never an autopsy to confirm John’s cause of death.
But, according to Lande, her father was in a different city that was more than 150 miles away — and any attempt to connect her dad’s death to the others is hurtful to everyone involved.
“Our entire family is thinking of the families who have questions about their loved ones’ deaths,” Lande says. “I can’t even imagine what they’re going through, and I hope they get the answers they need. But that’s not our situation. We know what happened, and we have closure.”
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A representative for Barbara did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Speaking to ET, the Shark Tank star’s rep said: “John Corcoran passed away at the end of April in the Dominican Republic from what is believed to be natural causes. He loved and frequently visited the country.”
The U.S. State Department has confirmed six people including engaged couple Nathaniel Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, as well as Pennsylvania psychotherapist Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, have died while vacationing in Punta Cana since summer 2018.
Some of them passed away in what appear to be similar circumstances.
PEOPLE confirms that both the FBI and the CDC are investigating these strange deaths, but the agencies are not yet releasing further details.