Report: Queens Woman Is Latest to Die at Dominican Republic Resort

June 21, 2019 Updated: June 21, 2019

A New York mother is the latest person to have died at a resort in the Dominican Republic, the New York Post reported. More than a dozen American tourists have been found dead under mysterious incidents thus far in the country.

Donette Edge Cannon, 38, went to the Dominican Republic on a family trip in 2018 and visited Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana to celebrate the birthday of her brother-in-law, the paper reported on June 21.

Cannon, the owner of a catering business, stayed at the resort in May.

“She was posting videos to show how much fun she was having,” her sister, Candace Edge Johnson, told the news outlet.

The entire group had minor stomach problems during the trip. Cannon, they said, also had diabetes and was getting dialysis treatment.

“For us, throughout the trip, we kept using the bathroom,” Johnson said. “We went to a restaurant in the same condition, anytime we ate we were using the bathroom.”

On the final night, the group went to dinner. “We were singing and all dancing up to the room that night,” Johnson said. “When we all said good night, we were dancing.”

dominican republic beach
Tourists at a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in a file photo. (Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

Cannon, in the middle of the night, woke up with a stomach ache and started vomiting. In the morning, she still felt sick, and her family called a doctor.

“My cousin said, ‘It’s getting worse. I’m going to have the medics come and check her out,’” Johnson told the Post. “Once they got to the room, she fell unconscious and they took her to the hospital.”

Her sister said that they told emergency responders about her kidney problems, but the responders rushed her to a hospital without a dialysis machine.

“They basically let her die on the table,” her sister said, adding that officials at the hospital told them it was too late to take her somewhere else.

Her cause of death was found to be kidney failure, Johnson recalled.

“Their conclusion was renal failure, but it never addressed what initially got her sick in the first place,” Johnson told the news outlet.

Before the spate of deaths that were reported in Dominican Republic resorts, Johnson didn’t question the resort. But now, she is speaking out.

“We were so traumatized that we didn’t think about these things,” Johnson said. “I would’ve pursued the resort more about whether there was food poisoning, and the decisions made about hospitals with dialysis, and just their [lack of] urgency to alert people [for help].”

She added: “I think now that looking at the other incidents that it definitely [is] something deeper and sheds on their health care practices. It’s not like the United States.”

Toro Restaurant Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
An undated screenshot of a 360 view from inside the Toro Restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana/Screenshot)

Johnson added that she will not return to the Dominican Republic in light of her sister’s death. She warned other tourists to be cautious.

“If the God forbid something happens to you, you could be the next victim,” Johnson said.

The FBI and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have joined teams probing the deaths, but the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic said in a June 6 statement that “authorities have not established a connection between these incidents.”

“The U.S. Embassy is engaged with Dominican authorities and actively monitoring the investigations. Further, at the request of Dominican officials our Legal Attaché (FBI) is providing technical assistance to produce full toxicology reports. We do not yet have results of the toxicology studies,” the embassy added.

“We are also aware of concerns raised by the family members of other U.S. citizens who previously died while in the Dominican Republic. At this time we have no indication of any connection between those tragic losses and the cases currently under investigation.”

A number of people who fell sick in the country have also been reported.

A level 2 travel advisory posted on April 15 by the State Department says travelers should take caution when visiting the tourist destination.

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Recommended