A Baltimore woman said that her son mysteriously died on a vacation in the Dominican Republic in 2018, adding that she decided to speak out after seeing reports of other American tourists dying in resorts under unusual circumstances.
Annette Wedington told WJZ in an exclusive last week that she wants answers after her son, Terrence Richmond, died in Jarabacoa. Dominican authorities told her that it was an accident, saying that he had a heart attack and fell.
However, Wedington said that he suffered trauma to his knuckles, saying that she thinks he was involved in a struggle before his death. An autopsy obtained from officials said he had a cracked skull and fluid in his lungs.
Tonight at 5&6—A Baltimore pastor talks to #WJZ about her search for answers after her son’s mysterious death while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. It comes amid several other recent tourist deaths there. @wjz pic.twitter.com/INvDdkXskK
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 7, 2019
“They kept my son’s body over there for more than a month,” she told WJZ, adding that it cost her $4,000 to get his body back into the United States. “He has bruising on his back like he had been kicked. I just think about it sometimes and I want to cry.”
The local news report said he was on a “mountain excursion,” and it isn’t clear whether he was staying in a resort.
Her son was a veteran and an educator. She was told he had a heart attack—but says she found trauma on his knuckles when she brought the body back to the United States and bruising to his back. @wjz pic.twitter.com/VWykyZ6PID
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 7, 2019
She said that her son, who was a veteran, “was healthy.”
“I know they’re lying. I just want closure,” Wedington said.
So far, as of June 10, six other Americans reportedly died in hotels in the country.
“I know how their families are feeling. I’ve gone through the same thing,” Wedington said. “He had a humble spirit. He deserved better,” she added of her son. “I’m sure that more people will be coming forward since this is hitting the headlines now.”
California man died in April at Dominican Republic resort after drink from hotel room minibar, family sayshttps://t.co/Tp1jeXgzrs
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) June 10, 2019
The U.S. Department of State and Dominican Republic officials have not issued a statement on Richmond’s death.
The pattern of deaths made headlines last week after Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead at the Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30. They had checked in on the same day that 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman Miranda Schaup-Werner collapsed and died after allegedly drinking from the minibar at the same resort on May 25, according to reports.
Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, died in the Dominican Republic just five days before Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 50, were found dead in their hotel on the same resort. https://t.co/UlLwfBAZrt
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) June 5, 2019
Other family members of American tourists then came forward, including Felecia Nieves, who said her sister, Yvette Monique Sport, died in June of last year at the Bahia Principe resort in Punta Cana.
“She was 51 years of age, relatively healthy, no reason for her to go on vacation and die so suddenly,” Nieves said, according to Fox5.
On June 9, the family of California man, Robert Bell Wallace, said he died after having a scotch from his room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana.
“He was fine,” niece Chloe Arnold said of her uncle, Fox News reported. “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.”
Dawn McCoy, a Pennsylvania woman, said that her husband, David Harrison, died in July 2018 at the Hard Rock hotel.
“We were having a great time … and we ended up coming home as a broken family,” she told Inside Edition. “My husband’s story needs to be told … something’s not right in the Dominican Republic.”
The FBI and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that they are probing the mysterious deaths at resorts in the country.
“We are awaiting the results, especially in regards to the tragic death of the couple from Maryland,” a spokeswoman for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism told Fox News. “We want these tests and investigation to be carried out carefully and professionally.”