An official with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Public Health is adamantly claiming that there were no mysterious circumstances around the deaths of the Maryland couple who were found dead in their hotel room last month.
On Wednesday, Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero told Fox News that following Edward Nathaniel Holmes’ death on May 30, his fiancée Cynthia Ann Day died merely “from the shock of seeing the person beside her dead.”
Suero argued that the engaged pair, who reportedly had high blood pressure medication in the hotel room, exhibited “a lot of medical conditions” which increased their risk while traveling.
“They had a lot of medical conditions. There were many bottles of prescription medication in their room,” Suero told the outlet. “They practically carried around a pharmacy with them. They had pills for blood pressure, for the heart, they had anti-depressants. When you get on an airplane and travel with all that medical [baggage], this can happen.”
The island official also noted that Holmes, 63, raised concerns about not feeling well to the hotel staff just one day before he was found dead alongside his fiancée, 49.
After learning of the cost for medical attention, however, Holmes decided he would “just wait to get back to the U.S. the next day and go to his regular doctor,” Suero said.
He unfortunately never made it there, as Holmes and Day’s bodies were discovered in their hotel room on May 30, according to a statement released by the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana resort, where the couple had been staying since May 25.
The pair were found by hotel staff who went to check on them after they missed their scheduled check-out window that same day, according to the hotel’s statement. Their bodies showed no signs of violence, USA Today reports.
The Dominican Republic National Police later announced an autopsy found the couple died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. Day also reportedly suffered cerebral edema.
Earlier this month, Holmes and Day’s bodies were flown back to Temple Hills, MD, the couple’s family lawyer Steven Bullock confirmed to PEOPLE in a statement. As their families prepared funeral arrangements, Bullock said they also intend on having autopsies performed and reviewing the toxicology report when it is completed.
“The families of Cynthia Ann Day and Nathaniel Edward Holmes would like to thank the community for their condolences and support in their loss. We are continuing to investigate the exact cause of death,” Bullock said. “The families are determined to find out what happened and why.”
In addition to addressing Holmes and Day’s deaths, Suero lashed out at news reports about the six other American tourists who have died on the island since last year.
“It’s all a hysteria against the Dominican Republic, to hurt our tourism, this is a very competitive industry and we get millions of tourists, we are a popular destination,” Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero told Fox News on Wednesday. “People are taking aim at us.”
Suero told the outlet the people died of natural causes.
“The testing results are all negative, everything — the food, the alcohol, the air — is normal, there is no alteration of the alcohol,” he told Fox News. “With all the tourists we get every year, we make sure we comply with international standards for everything.”
The U.S. State Department has not publicly released any details about the investigation and did not immediately confirm or dispute Suero’s assertions about the test results.
The FBI and CDC are investigating the deaths of at least six of the deaths. Some of them died in what appeared to be bizarre — and similar — circumstances. The agencies involved are not yet releasing further details about the investigations.
Aside from Holmes and Day, the FBI has agents on the island nation to investigate two other cases: Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, who collapsed on May 25 shortly after mixing a drink from the minibar in the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana, and Pennsylvania native Yvette Monique Sport, 51, who collapsed in 2018 at the Bahia Príncipe resort in Punta Cana.
Additionally, authorities are investigating the deaths of two Americans at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana. David Harrison, 45, died in July 2018. Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died last April.
As the investigations continue, Suero is slamming the media reports as “fake news” and claimed that these deaths could have happened anywhere.
“People die all over the world,” Suero told Fox News. “Unfortunately, very unfortunately for us, these tourists have died here. We had about 14 deaths last year here of U.S. tourists, and no one said a word. Now everyone is making a big deal of these.”
“They were a special case as far as U.S. tourists,” he added. “They were a special medical case.”
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