FBI: No Foul Play in Deaths of American Tourists in DR - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

FBI: No Foul Play in Deaths of American Tourists in DR

A State Department spokesperson said the FBI proceeded with additional, extensive toxicology testing



    3 Deaths, 1 Attack in Paradise: American Tourists Killed, Hurt in Dominican Republic in 2019

    Maryland couple Cynthia Day, 50, and Nathaniel Holmes, 63, were found dead in their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel May 30th. This follows several other incidents in which American tourists have somehow died or been assaulted while on vacation in the region in recent months.

    (Published Friday, June 7, 2019)

    Toxicology reports on the deaths of three Americans in the Dominican Republic earlier this year are consistent with the findings of local authorities, according to the U.S. State Department, corroborating the Caribbean nation's initial assertion that there was no foul play involved in the trio of fatalities.

    The American toxicology reports, which were conducted by the FBI, are consistent with Dominican reports that indicated Pennsylvania resident Miranda Schaup-Werner died of a heart attack and that Maryland couple Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, a State Department spokesperson said.

    "Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time," the spokesperson added.

    Miranda Schaup-Werner. See full-sized image here.
    Photo credit: Facebook Photo

    Schaup-Werner, from Lehigh County, arrived at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville with her husband May 25, the same day as her eventual death.

    While inside their room, Schaup-Werner had a drink from the mini-bar and was suddenly struck with "acute physical distress," a family spokesperson said at the time. She collapsed to the floor. Authorities later said she died of a heart attack.

    Holmes and Day checked into the Bahia Principe Hotel at the resort Playa Nueva Romana, an adjacent hotel on the same Bahia Principe property. They were found dead in their hotel room on May 30.

    Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day. See full-sized image here.

    Investigators said their bodies showed "no signs of violence" and later said they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.

    Day's family was not satisfied with the results and vowed a second autopsy in the U.S. At the request of Dominican authorities, the FBI stepped in to assist with further toxicology analysis.

    A State Department spokesperson said the FBI proceeded with additional, extensive toxicology testing.

    "In this instance, the toxicology findings from the FBI were able to rule out several potential causes of death for Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes, including methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol," the spokesperson said. "The laboratory in Quantico and investigators in the Dominican Republic conducted thorough and time-consuming efforts, and none of the chemicals identified as possible toxins were found."

    The State Department said that the families were made aware of the findings, but a spokesperson for the Holmes and Day families said they had not been informed by the FBI or Dominican authorities.

    "The only information that has been received by the families is what is being reported in the media," attorney Steven E. Bullock said.

    According to Bullock, their families' investigation is ongoing.

    A spokesperson for Schaup-Werner's family did not immediately return a call seeking comment about the latest findings.