John Corcoran, 64, was on vacation when he had a heart attack, but his death is seemingly unrelated to the spate of mysterious deaths in the country

By Steve Helling
June 14, 2019 11:19 AM
Advertisement

Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran is speaking out about her brother’s death in the Dominican Republic, explaining that he had a preexisting condition that led to his death.

“It’s made it to the news by now that my dear brother John passed away in the Dominican Republic back in April,” Corcoran, 70, wrote on Instagram. “He loved the DR and vacationed there frequently.”

“My brother had an existing heart condition and we believe he died of natural causes, but you’re still never ready for the death of a loved one,” she continued.

Corcoran then addressed the seemingly unrelated mysterious deaths of several American tourists.

“I’m overwhelmed with sadness for the lost lives in the DR and my thoughts are with the families who have lost their loved ones,” she writes. “Thank you for all of your thoughts and good wishes. I appreciate your love and kindness.”

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 told PEOPLE that 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.”

Barbara Corcoran

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.”

John and Barbara Corcoran with their family as children
Barbara Corcoran/Instagram

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

“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.”

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.