Things That Matter

UPDATE: Eighth American Dies In The Dominican Republic And Families Are Pressuring The US Government To Demand Answers

Leyla Cox / Facebook

Leyla Cox, 55, will be the second American tourist whose body was found in their hotel room in just three days. Joseph E. Allen III, a New Jersey tourist, was found dead on June 13 after feeling sick the night before. Leyla Cox was found on June 10 in Excellence Resorts in Punta Cana.

A forensic report obtained by the hotel reveals that Cox died of a heart attack. Officials say the country is “no less safe than it was before,” according to a CNN report.

Leyla Cox’s family is reluctant to accept the country’s autopsy report.

@OstapiukJ / Twitter

Cox was visiting the Dominican Republic to celebrate her birthday and planned to be back in New York within a week. Her son, William Cox, told ABC 7 News that, “it’s been a non-stop nightmare ever since I got that phone call.”

Dominican officials are calling the deaths isolated events.

@rodrigmarchena / Twitter

“In the last five years, over 30 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic, but this is the first time the international media report such an alarming situation,” Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia responded. “These are isolated incidents and the Dominican Republic is a safe destination.”

But people don’t want to hear the same lines. They want answers.

@diegoarisot / Twitter

“These tweets against the negative reports from The New York Times and FOX News serve nothing,” reads the tweet. “Clarify the deaths and let the world know, starting with your said means.”

Authorities continue to state the same stances–these are isolated incidents. Americans are growing more and more frustrated with the lack of local investigations into the matter.

The family of Joseph E. Allen III, found in his hotel room on June 13th, won’t stop searching for answers.

@essence / Twitter

Joe’s family has been told that Joe started feeling sick on Wednesday night. He felt like he had a fever, and decided to skip going out with his friends to take a cold shower and rest. By Thursday morning, his friends were worried that he wasn’t answering his hotel phone. They asked the hotel staff to let them into his room, where his body was found in rigor mortis.

Joe’s only son arrived a couple of hours later for a scheduled celebration of Father’s Day.

@ArubaRuthnell / Twitter

He didn’t find out his dad had passed until after he landed. Joe’s brother, Jason, told Essence that once Joe’s son “got there that they were performing an autopsy on my brother without any consent and [my nephew] was told that it was the law of the land.”

The family has penned New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez to demand justice for Joe.

@SenatorMenendez / Twitter

“My family and I are afraid that my brother was a victim of a wrongful death,” Jason wrote. “Being aware of the recent number of mysterious deaths occurring in the Dominican Republic, we immediately attempted to contact the U.S. Embassy…for answers and seeking any help they could offer in getting an investigation started with an autopsy done back in the United States.”

On May 30, a couple was found dead in their hotel room.

@JesusComing2033 / Twitter

Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found in their rooms at the Bahia Principe La Romana Resort. They both had internal bleeding and damage to their pancreases. Holmes was reported by authorities to have an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver–significant signs of a pre-existing, dangerous condition.

The New York Post reports that they collapsed and died after drinking from the minibar.

In April, a California man reportedly died after drinking from his hotel minibar.

Robert Wallace, 67, died in his Hard Rock Hotel room. After having scotch from the minibar, he started experiencing blood in his urine and stool immediately afterward.

The FBI is now investigating the cause of these deaths–suspected to be poisoning.

@nypost / Twitter

Many of the official reports of death have not been released to the public just yet, and families are feeling frustrated. Not a single toxicology report, which would indicate poisoning, has been released.

There are no travel advisories for Americans regarding the Dominican Republic just yet.

@jayracruzz / Twitter

Though many Americans are taking to Twitter to announce their plan to avoid the DR until more information is released. Others are making sure that the world knows: “Dominican Republic is not bad.”

READ: This Dominican Republic Hotel Just Claimed Its 6th Victim And Experts Think The Mini Bar Is To Blame

Jose Arredondo, Father Of K-Pop Star Samuel, Was Found ‘Beaten To Death’ In Cabo San Lucas, Mexico And Fans Are Devastated

Entertainment

Jose Arredondo, Father Of K-Pop Star Samuel, Was Found ‘Beaten To Death’ In Cabo San Lucas, Mexico And Fans Are Devastated

its_kimsamuel / Instagram

There is terrible news coming out of Mexico this week as media reports say Jose Arredondo, a U.S. citizen and father of K-Pop star Samuel, was reportedly beaten to death in Cabo San Lucas. The 58-year-old, who is the well-known owner of a car dealership in Bakersfield, California, was found dead on Tuesday morning in a condominium with “signs of blunt force trauma,” police said. According to a local media outlet, Tribunal de Los Cabos, Arredondo was discovered “laying on the floor with several wounds caused by a knife in the back.” 

This story is shocking on many fronts as authorities try to uncover more details on how this all could have happened.

Credit: Twitter/@kmusicinsider

Arredondo was a revered family and community member in the Bakersfield area who came to the United States at the age of 11 from the Mexican state of Michoacan. He would work his way up to own several local dealerships after starting off washing cars in Los Angeles. Arredondo would be promoted to become a salesman that would be the start of a career auto retail industry. 

One of Arredondo’s closest friends was Rev. James Ranger, the lead pastor at New Life Church, where he attended for 20 years. Ranger told Bakersfield.com that Arredondo was “the real deal” and an individual would constantly give back to the church, this included donating brand-new cars to the church for fundraising. 

“He was tough as nails but he had a beautiful heart,” Ranger said about his good friend. 

While Samuel’s father came from Mexico and his mother from Korea, he was born in the U.S. Samuel, whose full name is Samuel Kim Arredondo, rose to stardom at a young age. He would appear in many of his father’s car dealership commercials and sing. He would also appear on the online show Seventeen TV before making it big on the K-pop scene. 

There has been much support and condolences that have been pouring in since the news broke.  

Credit: Twitter/@crzylslr

Many of Samuel’s fans have taken to social media to share their thought and deep condolences for the tragic news of his father’s passing. “My condolence. I hope that you are surrounded by your loved ones and I know it’s hard but please stay strong, you’re not alone Samuel #StayStrongSamuel,” one user wrote on Twitter

Another fan took the time to write out a short personal message for Samuel. She said that many of his fans are standing right there with him during this difficult time. 

“Dear Samuel, I know you’re not fine right now… What you’re facing is so hard and depressing but always remember… We-your fans- will always be here with you. We had your back. Always. Sending all the love I can give. Louise Lazaro. Your fan.”

This untimely death has struck the Bakersfield community as much as it has many of Samuel’s fans. 

Credit: Twitter/@bluerabbyblue

Arredondo played a huge role in his community and many have shown their support and how he affected their lives personally. Besides being a car dealership owner, Arredondo played a pivotal role in encouraging children to stay in school and pursue higher education. He also was a big supporter in feeding farm labor workers in the nearby Central Valley.

Francisco Duran, who was a fan of Arredondo growing up, wrote on Facebook that the news hit him hard. He was one of those that was personally touched many of his positive car commercials. 

“Sad news. I was thinking about quitting Bakersfield College back in 1995 when I saw him on TV. He was encouraging kids to stay in school. He changed my mind about quitting.”

John Pitre, the chief operations officer at Motor City Buick GMC and Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield, told the Bakersfield.com that the untimely death was a “tragic event.” Pitre noted that Arredondo played a big role in the car dealers business. 

“He was a valuable member of our community and we’re certainly going to miss him,” Pitre said. “We’re certainly in mourning and we’ll say a prayer for him.”

While there are still many questions about the case there are still no suspects that have been identified at this time, investigators said.

READ: Korean Boy Band BTS Opened A Pop-Up Shop In Mexico City And The City Lost Its Mind

An American Died In The Dominican Republic In March But The Death Was Ignored And Treated As Natural Causes

Things That Matter

An American Died In The Dominican Republic In March But The Death Was Ignored And Treated As Natural Causes

Justin Aikin / Unsplash

More Americans have died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. News agencies have been reporting on the increasing number of American deaths in the Dominican Republic and now one more death has come forward from March after being ignored.

A Georgia man’s death and under investigation months after dying in the Dominican Republic.

Credit: @LaurenPozenWSB / Twitter

Tracy Jerome Jester Jr., of Forsyth County, Georgia died in March while vacationing in the Dominican Republic with his sister. Allegedly, Jester started to complain of not being able to breathe after a day of sightseeing with his sister.

Jester Jr.’s mother told ABC News that his death certificate references “respiratory illness” as the cause of death.

Credit: @ABC7Chicago / Twitter

Jester Jr.’s mom told ABC News that he did have lupus. Yet, the man’s mother remembers her son telling her about a “nasty” Sprite he drank in the Caribbean country shortly before his death.

According to ABC7, Jester’s mother got a call from her son the night before his death and he told her about his activities, including the questionable taste of the soft drink he purchased at the hotel. While she told him that it might be a different flavor in the country, he insisted that something was odd about the drink.

At 4:40 a.m., she got a call from her daughter and the conversation was troubling.

Credit: @jockosims / Twitter

At this point, Jester Jr. was vomiting blood and telling his sister that he wasn’t able to breathe. Their mother instructed her daughter to call emergency services but there was a delay in someone assisting, according to ABC7.

There was no toxicology performed because of when the young man died in connection to the increase in tourist deaths.

It wasn’t until there was increased media attention to the deaths and three deaths at one hotel that toxicology screenings started to happen. So far, the FBI is performing toxicology screenings on the three victims from the same hotel.

Officials in both the U.S. and the Dominican Republic claim that there has been no significant increase in deaths.

Credit: @ulisesjorge / Twitter

People are trying to calm down the fears of everyone talking about the deaths in the Dominican Republic. While it is not abnormal for tourists to die while on vacation, the deaths of those in the Dominican Republic have left Americans stunned.

READ: Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic

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