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American Tourists Died of Natural Causes in DR; Body Found on I-95S; Death Threats to Both Families
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/19/19 1:37 am | updated: 10/19/19 1:44 am
FBI toxicology tests have determined that three Americans that died in the Dominican Republic this past spring while on vacation died of natural causes. 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner of Whitehall Township, PA, died in May at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana. She suffered a heart attack, pulmonary edema, and respiratory failure. 63-year-old Nathaniel Holmes and his wife 49-year-old Cynthia Day of Maryland died days later at the same resort. Holmes had an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver. Day had fluid in her brain. They both had internal bleeding, including in their pancreases, and fluid in their lungs. The findings are consistent with those presented by Dominican authorities. The deaths had travelers questioning their trips to the popular tourist country. The State Department called the deaths tragic but unrelated, isolated cases. See the full statement below.

Police responded to the I-95 south ramp to the Commodore Barry Bridge for the report of an unresponsive person on Friday night, 10/18, around 9:30 p.m. When they arrived, police discovered the person was dead at the scene. It is unknown how the victim got to the roadway or their cause of death. The victim's identity is also not known. The investigation is ongoing.

One day after the trial ended and the families of both Michael White and Sean Schellenger are receiving deaths threats. White was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter in the 2018 stabbing of Schellenger near Rittenhouse Square. He was found guilty of tampering with evidence after he disposed of the knife. Now members of both families say that they are receiving constant threats, many of them from anonymous sources online. They are afraid to leave their homes out of fear. The verdict didn't bring any closure, but seems to have increased the threats.

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(1) response


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 10/19 1:44 am
U.S. State Department statement

"Toxicology test results to date have been provided by the FBI to Dominican authorities, and family members of the deceased have been informed. The results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities. Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time.

U.S. citizens Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes died in La Romana, Dominican Republic, on May 30. Investigation by Dominican authorities showed no physical violence or indications of foul play. Dominican authorities sought assistance from the FBI with the toxicology testing for the couple.

U.S. citizen Miranda Schaup-Werner died at a sister resort on May 25 from what Dominican authorities determined was a heart attack. The FBI performed toxicology testing for Miranda Schaup-Werner to ensure there was no linkage between the two events.

Test results have been provided to Dominican authorities and to the family members of the deceased. As in any death investigation, toxicology supports the physical autopsy and investigation into the circumstances of death. In this instance, the toxicology findings from the FBI were able to rule out several potential causes of death for Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes, including methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol. The laboratory in Quantico and investigators in the Dominican Republic conducted thorough and time-consuming efforts, and none of the chemicals identified as possible toxins were found.

We refer you to local authorities regarding any specifics.

We reiterate our condolences to the families of the deceased during this difficult time.

We understand that the Dominican National Police investigation has not found any indications of violence or foul play linked to these deaths.

The safety of U.S. citizens in the Dominican Republic is a top priority for the U.S. government and the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. We will continue to work with all of our Dominican counterparts in the tourism, law enforcement, and health sectors to assess and inform the public about safety risks in the Dominican Republic."

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