Tragically, the number of mysterious American deaths in the Dominican Republic has reached double digits. Most recently, a Louisiana woman, Susan Simoneaux, and her husband, Keith Williams, had just returned from their honeymoon in Punta Cana. About a week later, Simoneaux was rushed to the hospital with fluid in her lungs. She died on Tuesday.
Williams had not heard of all the deaths in the Dominican Republic or else he "never" would have taken his wife there, he explained.
Family members of the other nine victims say the deaths are just too similar and too suspicious to be coincidences. Will Cox, son of Leyla Cox, who died while staying at Punta Cana's Excellence resort earlier this month, said the hotel "keeps changing its story." His mom had just turned 53 and had never had any heart issues that he could remember. Yet, according to the resort, she died of a sudden heart attack. They also couldn't quite decide whether she had been found dead at the hotel or at the hospital. At least two other Americans, Edward Holmes, 63, and his girlfriend, Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead in their hotel rooms as well.
"Our stories are almost identical," Cox noted. "People need to be held accountable."
An autopsy is planned for Simoneaux and, now that the Dominican Attorney General's Office has finally approved the transfer of Mrs. Cox's blood and urine samples to the U.S., her old workplace, the Richmond University Medical Center, is prepared to conduct a toxicology test.
Yet, Dominican Republic officials have been daringly defensive. As for Day, who found her boyfriend dead, she "probably" died from the "shock," Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero claimed.
“They were a special case as far as U.S. tourists,” Suero said on Fox News on Wednesday. “They were a special medical case.”
Suero claims that all the reports linking the fatalities are "fake news" designed to hurt the D.R.'s tourism industry.
Other authorities insist the region is still safe for tourists. They are expected to give a press conference Friday afternoon to prove it.