- David Harrison, of southern Maryland, died while vacationing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the Dominican beach town of Punta Cana last July.
- An autopsy said the 45-year-old had a heart attack and pulmonary edema – a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs.
- The same causes of death were cited by Dominican officials for Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, of Maryland, and Miranda Schaup-Werner, of Pennsylvania, all of whom stayed at the Bahia Principe hotel at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in La Romana, about 50 miles west of Punta Cana, in May. Another woman, Yvette Monique Sport, reportedly died of a heart attack at another Dominican hotel in the Bahia Principe chain.
- In April, a man named Robert Bell Wallace died at the same resort as Harrison after falling ill after having a drink from his hotel room minibar. His official cause of death has yet to be determined.
- Harrison’s wife, Dawn McCoy, is now searching for answers in the death of her husband, who she says was healthy.
- She’s encouraging people to get second autopsies, something she did not do for her husband.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
A Maryland woman whose husband died at a Dominican Republic resort last year is questioning the circumstances of his death amid reports of several other US tourists’ deaths in the country.
Dawn McCoy, of Charles County in southern Maryland near Washington, DC, told INSIDER that her husband, David Harrison, died while they were vacationing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the beach town of Punta Cana last July.
An autopsy said the 45-year-old died of a heart attack and pulmonary edema – the same official cause of death given for Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, of Maryland, and Miranda Schaup-Werner, of Pennsylvania, who all died in May at the Bahia Principe hotel at the Playa Nueva Romana resort in La Romana, about 50 miles west of Punta Cana. Yvette Monique Sport, of Pennsylvania, died at a hotel in the same resort chain, and her death certificate said she died of a heart attack.
A man named Robert Bell Wallace died at the same hotel as Harrison in April. He had fallen ill after having a drink from his hotel room minibar, but his official cause of death has yet to be determined.
McCoy believes it’s not a coincidence that so many people, including her husband, had died of heart attacks or pulmonary edema.
“I didn’t think twice about it until I heard everyone had the same cause as my husband,” she told INSIDER. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute.’ Something is definitely not right with this picture.”
David Harrison fell ill 9 days after arriving in Punta Cana
McCoy said Harrison had been in the Dominican Republic for nine days when he fell ill. The couple were celebrating their anniversary with their then-12-year-old son and friends.
She said he woke up in during the night drenched in sweat hours after falling ill.
“He couldn’t talk, he was unable to sit up, everything that came out was just grunting,” she told INSIDER. “He was trying to talk, but nothing would come out.”
She said it took a doctor 22 minutes to get to their room. The doctor told McCoy that Harrison still had a faint pulse, but McCoy told INSIDER she now questions whether that was true.
Harrison was taken to the hospital, where McCoy said she waited two hours to speak with anyone and didn’t observe any doctors evaluating her husband in a nearby curtained room.
She said she was finally approached by a funeral director, who told her Harrison was dead.
McCoy did not opt for a second autopsy when she got back to the United States but says she now wishes she had. His body was cremated, according to WUSA.
Still searching for answers in her husband’s death
Harrison was healthy and had annual physical checkups, McCoy said, adding that he took medication for high blood pressure.
McCoy never received a toxicology report following her husband’s death, and she has now requested one from the funeral director she corresponded with in the Dominican Republic.
“Something is not right, and if I can’t bring David back, I can be very vocal and say if something happens to your loved ones, get a second autopsy,” she said. “Don’t do what I did and regret it for the rest of your life.”
The FBI announced this week that it was investigating all six of the recent deaths that happened in the Dominican Republic.
McCoy said she hadn’t yet heard from investigators.
“I won’t believe they’re investigating until someone reaches out to me,” she told INSIDER.
- Read more
- Here’s what travellers can do to stay safe in the Dominican Republic
- A woman says a Dominican Republic resort pushed her to sign an NDA after she became severely sick at the hotel
- The Dominican Republic resort where tourists have been dying has a long history of vacationers contracting serious illnesses
- The CDC and international health authorities are conducting tests at Dominican Republic resorts where tourists are falling ill and dying
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