The US State Department has raised the threat level in the Dominican Republic and urged travelers to exercise increased caution due to increased crime rates involving US citizens.
Armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault are among top concerns and travelers are being warned after several tourists lost their lives to crime while on vacation in the DR.
Most recently, an American couple vacationing in the exotic hot spot were found dead in their hotel room with no obvious signs of foul play.
Edward Nathael Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day were found dead Thursday (May 30) in their hotel room at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in San Pedro de Macorís, on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic.
Holmes, 63, and Day, 49, of Maryland reported missed their scheduled check out on Thursday and hotel staff sent to their room found the pair were unresponsive.
Police say the bodies showed no signs of violence.
Several bottles of medicine used to treat high blood pressure were found in the couple’s room, however no illegal drugs were found.
Their deaths were considered suspicious in part because Holmes complained of a pain on Thursday, but when a doctor arrived Holmes refused treatment, police said.
The Dominican Republic National Police announced earlier today that an autopsy found the couple both died from respiratory failure and pulmonary edema but It is still unclear what CAUSED the couple’s deaths.
The hotel released a statement expressing their condolences:
We are deeply saddened by the incident at one of our hotels in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends.
A US State Department official said that they are working with local authorities on the investigation, which is ongoing. The couple had been staying in the hotel since May 25.
We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss.
We are in close contact with local authorities regarding their investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas.
Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.
News of Holmes and Day’s deaths come just days after a Delaware woman spoke out about an attack where she was left for dead while on a vacation in the Dominican Republic this past January.