A New York man who died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic is the latest tourist to die on the island, Fox News reports.
Former pizzeria owner Vittorio Caruso, 56, of Glen Cove, died on June 17 after being ill at Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo. His sister-in-law, Lisa Maria Caruso, told the news release that Vittorio, who was returning home on June 27, had had good health before the trip.
"We found out that he was being brought to the hospital by an ambulance after drinking something," she said. "We were told that he did not respond to anyone he was given and died. I honestly do not know exactly what happened when we were told conflicting stories from different people there."
Lisa explained that the authorities wanted to cure Vittorio's body, but the family insisted on bringing it home again.
"It's very difficult to get a right story from someone there," she said.
Vittorio's relatives expect his autopsy results today, Lisa added.
He is one of several Americans who mysteriously died at resorts throughout the country over the past few months.
Earlier this month, on June 13, New Jersey resident Joseph Allen died at Terra Linda Resort in Sosua after complaining to his friends about being too hot in the pool the day before. A maid discovered discovered Allen between his bedroom and bathroom, and a doctor later investigated that he might have died of cardiac arrest.
Last month, a Pennsylvania psychotherapist and a Maryland couple died within just a few days on a resort. On May 25, Miranda Schaup-Werner celebrated her ninth birthday with her husband in Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana when she suddenly fell down after having a drink. Five days later, Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day were found dead in their room at nearby Bahia Principe La Romana. In both cases, the officials said the victims died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, although relatives from all three remained skeptical. The FBI is currently assisting Dominican police in the investigation of their deaths.
Since June 2018, there have been over 10 cases of suspicious deaths in the Dominican Republic, many of which have resulted in the consumption of dubious alcohol or the use of hotel facilities. Victims include Pennsylvania woman Yvette Monique Sport, Maryland resident David Harrison, Ohio resident Jerry Curran, California resident Robert Turlock, and New York resident Leyla Cox.
Last week, New York Post reported that New Yorker Donette Edge Cannon, 38, also died last year after her stay at Sunscape Bay Beach Punta Cana. Before passing by, she had allegedly woken up in the middle of the night and started vomiting and having diarrhea.
As the number of incidents increases, Dominican officials have tried to stifle fear over the security of their country. In an interview with Fox News, the Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero rejected any concerns such as "false news".
"People die all over the world," he said. "Unfortunately, unfortunately for us, these tourists died here. We had about 14 deaths last year here by American tourists, and no one said a word. Now everyone is a big part of these."
Still, authorities should ultimately state that unfortunate gambling is involved in any of the recent deaths, they would take appropriate steps, said Francisco Garcia, the country's tourist minister.
"If something goes wrong, we will take the disciplinary measures that are justified," he said. "We will do what we have to do if there is negligence. We will act."