A New Jersey resident is the latest American tourist to pass away while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, after several mysterious deaths have been reported in the past year.
ABC 7 reports that 55-year-old Joseph Allen was found dead in his hotel room on the morning of June 13. Jamie Reed, the deceased's sister, told the news outlet that her brother went to D.R. for a birthday celebration. His friends told Reed that he "complained about being hot at the pool. He said he was going to his room to take a shower. When his friends came back, he said he wasn't feeling 100% again, and said he was going to lie down for the night. The next morning his friend said he hadn't heard from Joe before breakfast, so he knocked on his door and there was no response."
After asking hotel staff for assistance, Allen was found on the floor. "He had been there for a while. Rigor mortis had set in, and he was cold," Reed said. She said her brother wasn't experiencing health issues prior to his trip, describing him as "for the most part healthy."
Despite the alarming number of tourist deaths in the country, Reed wasn't worried about her brother since he frequently visited the tropical destination."We didn't think anything of it, because he does this all the time," she said of her brother's trip. When speaking of her brother's passing, as well as the others who have mysteriously died in the country, Reed said "The families need answers," she said. "We deserve answers...My brother was my best friend. I spoke to him every day. This is killing me."
Allen is the ninth person within the last year to suddenly pass away in the Dominican Republic. Previously, it was reported that 53-year-old Leyla Cox passed away on June 10 as a result of an apparent heart attack. Miranda Schaup-Werner also died of a heart attack, though her husband confirmed that she had history of heart complications.
In May, a couple was found dead in their hotel room within the same week as another woman who passed away at the same resort. It was reported that all three died of the same lung condition and shared similar complications, including hemorrhaging, pulmonary edema and enlarged hearts.
John Corcoran, brother of Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran, died in April. The cause of death was not initially made public, though Barbara later took to Instagram to reveal her brother had a heart condition, attributing the death to natural causes.
CNN reports that 67-year-old Robert Wallace also succumbed to illness in April at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana. Last July, 45-year-old David Harrison passed away after becoming sick one day after a snorkeling excursion. He is said to have suffered a heart attack and pulmonary edema.
Finally, Yvette Monique Sport died in June 2018. After taking a shower and having drinks from a hotel minibar, Sport's fiancé said he heard her make a gurgling sound, finding her unresponsive the next morning.