SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A vacationing Pennsylvania psychotherapist died at the same hotel where two U.S. tourists were found dead five days later, according to Dominican authorities, who said Wednesday they are investigating the causes of the deaths.
Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, of Allentown was preparing to dine with her husband, Dan Werner, when she began to feel ill and died May 25 at the Bahia Principe hotel in La Romana. Family spokesman Jay McDonald told WFMZ-TV in Allentown that she collapsed after getting a drink from the minibar.
“At one point, she was sitting there happily smiling and taking pictures, and the next moment she was in acute pain and called out for Dan and she collapsed,” McDonald said. Werner reportedly performed CPR but he and emergency medical responders were unable to revive her.
The Dominican Republic’s prosecutor’s office said forensics experts have taken samples and are performing toxicological and other tests to determine the cause of death.
Dominican police also are investigating the deaths of a Maryland couple found at the hotel May 30. Officials said Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, appeared to have suffered respiratory failure and fluid in the lungs.
The Regional Institute of Forensic Sciences said further tests are required to determine more about the cause of death.
Although the couple was found dead five days after the death of Schaup-Werner, news of their deaths emerged before that of the psychotherapist. Police said several bottles of medicines to treat high blood pressure were found on the scene of the couple’s death.
On May 27, the pair had shared photos and messages on their Facebook accounts in which they appeared to be enjoying their vacation.
McDonald said Schaup-Werner’s family heard about the deaths of Holmes and Day, who he said checked into the hotel the same day as Werner and Schaup-Werner.
“The bizarre issue of the same hotel and these things happening within days of each other and the complete unexpected nature of what happened to Miranda … we just want to understand this,” the family’s spokesman said.
The Bahia Principe hotel declined to comment because the investigation is in progress. The country’s attorney general’s office said it would offer further details in the coming days when autopsy results are available.
In a third case in the Dominican Republic, police are investigating an attack on a U.S. tourist in Punta Cana that the woman recently made public on social media, detailing a vicious hours-long assault by a man she said was wearing the uniform of an all-inclusive resort.
More than 6 million tourists visit the Dominican Republic each year.