This Dominican Republic Hotel Just Claimed Its 6th Victim And Experts Think The Mini Bar Is To Blame
A sixth American tourist was reported Monday to have died from a mysterious illness at a Dominican Republic resort — the latest in a string of disturbingly similar fatalities.
Many of the deaths — and several other severe illnesses — involve healthy, middle-aged adults who had taken a drink from their hotel room minibar before suddenly becoming gravely sick.
That connection seems like more than a coincidence to the victims’ loved ones — and has led to new calls for action and even for the FBI to step in and investigate.
The latest death to be revealed was that of Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, who officials said died on April 14 during a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Wallace’s cause of death has yet to be determined. But in an interview, his niece said her uncle became unwell shortly after drinking a glass of scotch from the minibar in his room before dying in a hospital three days later.
“We have so many questions,” she said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Compounding the mystery is the fact that another American tourist, David Harrison, 45, of Maryland, had died at the same Hard Rock in July 2018 under similarly strange circumstances.
And just one month after Wallace died, three others mysteriously died in their rooms at another Dominican resort in a five-day period this May.
We first reported on the deaths of Miranda Schaup-Werner, Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, who all died within days of each other at the exact same resort.
According to statements from Miranda’s husband, who made it back to the US safely, his wife also started feeling sick after drinking something from the minibar.
The deaths made headlines and first put the spotlight on what now appears to be a yearlong pattern.
The reports of the growing death toll were particularly disturbing to Brooklyn’s Awilda Montes, 43, who said she began vomiting blood after drinking soda from her minibar at the Grand Bahia Principe last October — but managed to survive.
“This could have been me in the headlines,” Montes told The Post. “If I knew then what I know now, I would have left the island straight away.”
Montes suspects someone replaced the soda with chlorine and says she has been left with no taste buds, permanent respiratory problems, and ongoing anxiety.
Aside from the sixth deaths, a long list of people are coming forward with shocking stories of severe unexplainable illness.
Nearly 70 tourists have reported getting violently ill while vacationing in the Dominican Republic since March, according to a commonly used website that tracks food-borne illness outbreaks.
That’s up from just 10 reported illnesses in the country for all of 2018, according to iwaspoisoned.com. In June alone, 52 tourists reported symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
More than 45 of them identified themselves as guests at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.
Some are starting to believe the incidents are all connected as some plan from a disgruntled employee or even a serial killer.
A team of experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization has since descended on the hotels and is conducting tests at the Bahia Principe hotels where the trio died.
For its part, the Dominican government is urging calm and insisting the island is safe for visitors.
At a press conference, Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Francisco Garcia insisted the island was safe as more tourists reportedly are canceling their vacation plans. Garcia said the country had received more than 30 million visitors in the last five years without any widespread concerns about health issues at its resorts.
But all of this news comes as baseball star David Ortiz was shot in the back while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
While on vacation in the Dominican Republic, Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in the back.
One suspect is in custody, and investigators are looking for at least one other man in connection with Sunday night’s shooting, police said.
The reason for the shooting wasn’t immediately clear. Ortiz does not know the man being held or why he was shot, and he’s confident it was not a robbery attempt.
All of this has tourists rethinking their travel to the island.