HOL DEATHS RIDDLE FBI probes mystery ‘poison’ deaths at Hard Rock resort in Dominican Republic as 45 tourists ‘fall violently ill at luxury hotel’

HOL DEATHS RIDDLE FBI probes mystery ‘poison’ deaths at Hard Rock resort in Dominican Republic as 45 tourists ‘fall violently ill at luxury hotel’

THE FBI is investigating mysterious tourist deaths at the Hard Rock hotel in the Dominican Republic.

Two holidaymakers died and 45 guests reportedly fell ill after staying at the world famous resort on the Caribbean island.

 Robert Bell Wallace, 67, right, of California, fell ill and died after drinking a whisky at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Dominican Republic
Robert Bell Wallace, 67, right, of California, fell ill and died after drinking a whisky at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Dominican RepublicCredit: Fox News

Meanwhile, a couple and two other women – all US tourists – died at two other luxury resorts in the past year.

Top US cops are now helping local officers investigate the deaths amid fears they may have been poisoned.

A total of 30 million tourists have visited the island in the past five years and 2.7 million US tourists visit the popular holiday destination every year.

179,000 British nationals visited the Dominican Republic in 2017.

Robert Bell Wallace, 67, became sick and urinated blood after he had one whisky from his room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

He was visiting the country for his step-son’s wedding.

American David Harrison, 45, of Maryland, died in July last year at the same Hard Rock Hotel resort after a sudden heart attack.

His heartbroken widow Dawn McCoy said her husband was mumbling inanely and complained of a “very potent, strange smell”.

We have so many questions … We don’t want this to happen to anyone elseChloe Arnold, Niece Of Robert Bell Wallace

Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, collapsed died in her room after having a drink from her minibar at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana, 70 miles west of Punta Cana

Five days later, Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead in their room at the neighbouring Grand Bahia Principe resort.

And it has since emerged Yvette Monique Short, 51, passed away she had a drink from the minibar.

It wasn’t clear if Mr Holmes and Ms Day drank from the minibar, and their deaths were attributed by officials to respiratory failure.

Dominican officials said Mr Schaup-Werner suffered a heart attack, but her brother-in-law, Jay McDonald, insisted she died of respiratory failure and had drunk from the bar.

Another woman who stayed at the Bahia Principe this week claimed that she “vomited blood” after drinking a 7-UP from her minibar.

Awilda Montes, from New York, US, believes the 7-Up she drank at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville resort, in the Dominican Republic, contained bleach.

Awilda initially thought it was an accident, but she now thinks she may have been spiked, following the deaths of three people at the resort last month.

We started to see unusual activity in April when six people reported being ill on the island, but in June it exploded.Patrick Quade

She told CBS News: “I was cautious when I took a gulp of it. I immediately felt it burn me, burn my mouth, burn my tongue. My mouth was on fire.

Meanwhile, nearly 70 tourists have reported becoming violently ill while staying on the island since March, according to iwaspoisoned.com – a website that tracks food-borne illness outbreaks.

In June alone, 52 tourists reported symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

More than 45 of them identified themselves as guests at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

Website founder Patrick Quade told the NY Post: “We started to see unusual activity in April when six people reported being ill on the island, but in June it exploded.”

Quade consulted Lee-Ann Jaykus, a food microbiologist in the department of food science at North Carolina State University.

Meanwhile, nearly 70 tourists have reported becoming violently ill while vacationing on the island since March, according to iwaspoisoned.com – a website that tracks food-borne illness outbreaks.

In June alone, 52 tourists reported symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

More than 45 of them identified themselves as guests at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.

Website founder Patrick Quade told the NY Post: “We started to see unusual activity in April when six people reported being ill on the island, but in June it exploded.”

Quade consulted Lee-Ann Jaykus, a food microbiologist in the department of food science at North Carolina State University.

Jaykus said exposure to an insecticide chemical known as organophosphate could result in severe vomiting and diarrhoea, and in extreme cases it could cause a cardiac crisis.

Dominican authorities said post-mortem examinations revealed all six died of natural causes.

The families of at least three people who died on the island last month were told that their loved ones died from pulmonary edema and respiratory failure.

Other victims were said to have died of heart attacks.

“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,” Bahia Principe Hotel said in a statement after a Maryland couple was found dead in their hotel room at the end of May.

The US State Department told Fox News: “We can confirm the death of a US citizen in April 2019 in the Dominican Republic.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family for their loss.

“Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we do not have additional information to provide.”

 Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, died in May after a drink from a minibar at the Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel
Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, died in May after a drink from a minibar at the Bahia Principe La Romana HotelCredit: Twitter
 David Harrison, left, died in July last year at the same Hard Rock Hotel resort under similar, sudden circumstances
David Harrison, left, died in July last year at the same Hard Rock Hotel resort under similar, sudden circumstances

Play Video‘Terrified’ couple ‘poisoned by pesticide’ at luxury Dominican Republic hotel where three US tourists mysteriously died

 The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana in the Dominican RepublicCredit: Alamy

The resort apologised and offered her and her boyfriend a meal and a massage, according to reports.

In a statement on the Grupo Pinero website the company that owns the hotel said: “In regards to the two unfortunate events that took place in the Dominican Republic, and after inaccurate and false information has been spread, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts would like to express our deep respect to the authorities and the ongoing investigations.

“We reiterate our firm commitment to collaborating completely with the authorities and hope for a prompt resolution of their inquiries and actions and will not be making any further statements that may interfere with them.

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“The safety and comfort of our guests and staff stand at the core of our company values, and we work daily to ensure it.

“We reiterate that we completely disagree with the dissemination of false information issued publicly which threatens the image and reputation of the company and the integrity and rights of our employees and their families, reserving, where necessary, the right to take the appropriate legal action.”

The Sun Online has contacted The Hard Rock Hotel and the Dominican Republic Tourist Board for comment.

 Yvette Monique Sport, 51, died in June of 2018 on a holiday with her fiancé
Yvette Monique Sport, 51, died in June of 2018 on a holiday with her fiancéCredit: Fox 29
 David Harrison's, left, death was ruled a heart attack by authorities in the Dominican Republic
David Harrison’s, left, death was ruled a heart attack by authorities in the Dominican RepublicCredit: Dawn McCoy
 Robert Wallace, right, was allegedly in good health and an avid skier
Robert Wallace, right, was allegedly in good health and an avid skierCredit: Fox News
 Engaged Maryland couple Edward Holmes, 63, left, and Cynthia Day, 49, right, died in their room at the Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30
Engaged Maryland couple Edward Holmes, 63, left, and Cynthia Day, 49, right, died in their room at the Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30Credit: Facebook
 Awilda Montes, from New York, believes her drink was spiked with bleach at the same hotel where three others have died
Awilda Montes, from New York, believes her drink was spiked with bleach at the same hotel where three others have diedCredit: cbs news
 Inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana
Inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta CanaCredit: Alamy


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