A SERIES of deaths at luxury holiday resorts in the Dominican Republic are to be investigated by the FBI.
Six US tourists — including a couple found dead together in their hotel room — have died in the past few months at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana and various Bahia Principe resorts.
The involvement of the FBI, alongside Dominican authorities, is the first sign officials are considering a common link.
Respiratory failure, cardiac arrest or a mixture of both were given as the causes of five of the deaths, with findings for the sixth tourist, Robert Bell Wallace, not released. Families say at least three of the hotel guests died soon after having drinks from mini-bars.
Dozens of other tourists have reported severe sickness during visits to the resorts. Concerns have been raised about cleaning chemicals used in rooms and possible exposure to organophosphates — found in fertiliser — via air conditioning systems at resorts.
Engaged couple Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, from Maryland, were found dead in their room at the Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30.
Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, from Pennsylvania, died at the same hotel five days earlier after having a drink from her minibar. Mr Bell Wallace, 67, from California, died at the Hard Rock Hotel on April 14, with his family saying he urinated blood after having one whisky.
‘Fit and healthy’ David Harrison, from Maryland, died aged 45 at the Hard Rock last July. And Yvette Short, 51, from Pennsylvania, died at a Bahia Principe resort the same month.
Her sister Felecia Nieves says she had a drink from the mini-bar before going to bed and never waking up.