A New York pizzeria owner died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, adding to the long list of tourist deaths in the country

News 12 Long IslandVittorio’s Pizza in Glen Cove, Long Island.
  • Vittorio Caruso, of Glen Cove, Long Island, in New York, died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic on June 17.
  • Relatives told Fox News that Caruso went into respiratory distress after drinking something at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo.
  • Caruso’s family is the latest of many to come forward about relatives dying while staying at all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
  • Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said at a press conference on Friday that autopsies showed that all of the US tourists had died of natural causes.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A 56-year-old pizzeria owner from Long Island, New York, died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic last week, adding to a growing list of US tourist casualties in the country.

Vittorio Caruso, of Glen Cove, Long Island, went into respiratory distress and died on June 17 while staying at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo.

His sister-in-law, Lisa Maria Caruso, told Fox News: “We found out he was brought by ambulance to the hospital in respiratory distress after drinking something. We were told he wasn’t responding to any meds he was given and died. I honestly don’t know exactly what happened, as we have been told conflicting stories from different people there.”

She said Caruso “was not a sick person.”

Caruso was celebrating his retirement in the Dominican Republic when he died.

Lisa Maria told News 12 Long Island that Caruso and his brother had sold their pizza shop about a month ago.

She said her family received a call on June 17 notifying them that Caruso was sick. Minutes later, they received a phone call informing them he had died. It is unclear who made the phone calls.

A State Department official confirmed to CNN that a man from New York suddenly died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic this month, but did not offer further information.


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Caruso’s family is the latest to come forward about relatives dying while staying at all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.

Several US tourists have died from heart attacks, pulmonary edemas, or other apparent natural causes while vacationing there. Two other US tourists died in a car crash on the country’s notoriously dangerous roads.

Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said at a press conference on Friday that toxicology reports are pending for some of the cases, but autopsies showed that all of the US tourists had died of natural causes.

“It’s not true that there has been an avalanche of American tourists dying in our country, and it’s not true that we have mysterious deaths,” he said, according to a translation from CNN.

“We want the truth, not a special treatment,” he added.

Garcia, told CNN last week that all of the deaths are isolated incidents.

The US State Department told INSIDER that it doesn’t publish data regarding natural deaths abroad, but said there has not been “an uptick in the number of US citizen deaths reported” in the Dominican Republic compared to previous years.

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