American Woman Says Husband Died Last Year in Dominican Republic Resort

June 9, 2019 Updated: June 9, 2019

Following reports of other Americans dying in resorts in the Dominican Republica, a Maryland woman said her husband died last year at a resort in the country.

Dawn McCoy said she and her husband, David Harrison, went to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana about a year ago to celebrate their anniversary, WTOP reported.

But Harrison began feeling ill and went to sleep before he awoke covered in sweat, she recalled.

“He couldn’t sit up, and he was making noises that … you couldn’t make out. He was struggling quite a bit to get out of bed and to talk,” said McCoy in the report. “I tried to communicate with him and all he could do was mumble.”

McCoy said it took staff at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino 20 minutes to alert a doctor after she called them three times.

Harrison was in generally good health, but took medication for high blood pressure. He had a physical examination before the trip, and his doctor informed him that he would be fine, WTOP reported.

The Dominican government said that his cause of death was due to pulmonary edema and a heart attack.

Another American woman, Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, died of a heart attack at another resort in the island nation, said officials last week. Schaup-Werner—along with Americans Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49—died with fluid in their lungs, said Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez Sanchez, according to a statement obtained by CNN.

Day and Holmes died just days after Schaup-Werner at the same resort chain in late May 2019.

McCoy told WTOP that she spent about $20,000 to get her husband’s body back to the United States.

“We went down there as a happy family, and we came home to a broken family. I came home a widow and my 12-year-old son came home fatherless,” the station quoted her as saying.

At the time, she accepted his death and moved on. Now, in light of the recent deaths at other Dominican resorts, she is asking questions.

“I started seeing all these other people that were dying of the same exact causes, which made me start to second guess. I no longer feel like my husband died of natural causes,” McCoy said.

McCoy also issued a statement to other families of Americans who died.

“Do what needs to be done in order to satisfy your mind that it was or was not natural causes that killed your loved one,” she told WTOP, adding that she was slated to go back to the Dominican Republic next month to remember her husband. However, she canceled the trip after hearing about the other deaths.

“I no longer feel safe there,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported on June 9 that another American tourist, Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana—the same hotel where Harrison died.

The cause of death has not been provided by Dominican officials, Fox reported.

“He was fine,” Arnold said of her uncle. “He and his wife arrived there at around midnight on April 10. On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”

The U.S. Department of State is looking into his death.

Recommended