Dominican Republic - American tourists found dead in resorts, same cause of death, 2018/2019

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by scriabina, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    American Suddenly Died in Dominican Republic Weeks Before 3 Others, and FBI Will Investigate (with clip)

    June 10, 2019

    "The U.S. State Department has confirmed that there are now four American tourists who have recently died while on vacation in the Domincan Republic, which has prompted an FBI investigation into the mystery.

    Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died in April while staying at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana. His niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News that he became ill after having a drink from the his hotel room’s minibar. He was in the country to attend his stepson’s wedding....

    On May 25, Miranda Schaup-Werner, an Allentown, Pennsylvania psychotherapist, 41, collapsed shortly after mixing a drink from the minibar in the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, where she was celebrating her 9th wedding anniversary with husband Daniel Werner..Five days later, Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63 and Cynthia Day, 49, were found unresponsive in their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, which is on the same resort as Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville. There were no signs of violence...

    Last week, a Colorado couple who stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel alleged that they had become violently ill after being exposed to what they suspect were insecticides through the air conditioning system.

    According to a lawsuit filed by the couple, their room smelled of chemicals. They say they experienced headaches, nausea, cramping and diarrhea....

    The FBI confirmed to Fox that it was joining the investigation into mysterious deaths and illnesses on the island.
    They will send experts to conduct tests at the Bahia Principe hotels where Schaup-Werner, Holmes and Day died....."

    American Suddenly Died in Dominican Republic Weeks Before 3 Others, and FBI Will Investigate

    [​IMG]
    (Robert Bell Wallace)

    [​IMG]
    (Cynthia Ann Day, Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Miranda Schaup-Werner)
     
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  2. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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    Could very well be the case. Signs and symptoms within minutes and includes severe epigastric pain, cardiac arrhythmia, resp failure. I would think that any of these agents would taste horrible? Must look that up. Banned in the US (since 1972), China and Vietnam. Made illegally in China.
    https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+743
     
  3. Tbone144

    Tbone144 Well-Known Member

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    Info I found says it tastes a bit salty but not much taste otherwise. We had to be extremely careful with it and follow chain of custody rules on it in the lab.
     
  4. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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    Sodium fluoroacetate is reported to have a salty taste. So I assume that's a much more palatable taste than the cleaning solutions I had referenced. And only one person mentioned the smell of bleach. Sodium fluoracetate is still used in New Zealand, IIRC. Sodium fluoroacetate
     
  5. Tbone144

    Tbone144 Well-Known Member

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    It’s also known as Compound 1080 if that helps in the search. I found some references to it being used in Grenada and Cuba.
     
  6. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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    I think you're on to something Tbone144! Great job. I certainly hope officials do an extensive toxicology which includes this compound.
     
  7. mickey2942

    mickey2942 Well-Known Member

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    My husband and I saw the "mini bar" on the tv, it is full bottles, not sealed, just more alcohol added to top it off. Not mini bottles. So, all it would take is someone who replaced the alcohol with some type of poison. Cleaning solution, solvent, pesticides...maybe even to just cover up theft.
     
  8. Momof4RN

    Momof4RN Well-Known Member

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    This article explains why MD couple turned hotel doctor as well as some info on suspected poisoning and it’s affects.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/beta.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/10/dominican-republic-american-tourist-death-mystery/?outputType=amp

    ETA: The couple had become ill the night before and called for hotel doctor. Was gonna charge them hundreds of dollars so they sent him away and a family member went to a local pharmacy to pick up medication for them. IMO that just dropped the chances of a murder-suicide.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  9. Hell0000nurse

    Hell0000nurse Well-Known Member

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    They probably just thought something they ate wasn’t agreeing with them or caught a bug so didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars.
     
  10. wildebeest

    wildebeest Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me there have been toxic bottles of alcohol and sodas in the minibars. If the bottles had twist off tops, and appeared full, most people wouldn’t even notice. So sad, and such a sick individual to do this.

    IMHO
     
  11. Tbone144

    Tbone144 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting with their symptoms:
    Sodium fluoroacetate poisoning. - PubMed - NCBI
     
  12. kay74

    kay74 Well-Known Member

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    Tourists get sick and then robbed? Never go there. This happened at the Hard Rock hotel and the other resort I believe.
     
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  13. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    I feel like if someone was stealing drinks from the mini bar they would just top it off with water like we did to our parents’ alcohol when we were teenagers! I think the person/people who are doing this are intending to cause injury or death. This is scary stuff and I really hope there’s a real investigation and transparency.
     
  14. lucylulu

    lucylulu Well-Known Member

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    http://nypost.com/2019/06/10/nearly-70-tourists-to-dominican-republic-reported-illness-since-march/

    Nearly 70 tourists have reported getting violently ill while vacationing in the Dominican Republic since March, according to a commonly used website that tracks food-borne illness outbreaks.

    That’s up from just 10 reported illnesses in the country for all of 2018, according to iwaspoisoned.com. In June alone, 52 tourists reported symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

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

    “People report food-borne illnesses but it’s possible that they experienced some other type of contamination,” said Patrick Quade, founder of iwaspoisoned.com, adding that he consulted with scientists regarding his findings.

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

    One expert Quade consulted, Lee-Ann Jaykus, a food microbiologist in the department of food science at North Carolina State University, said exposure to an insecticide chemical known as organophosphate could result in severe vomiting and diarrhea, but in dire cases it could cause a cardiac crisis.

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

    “It is quite possible that Patrick has picked up something significant” that is not food-related, Jaykus told The Post.

    more at link
     
  15. Hell0000nurse

    Hell0000nurse Well-Known Member

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    I definitely think more people were exposed to whatever killed these three but it just didn’t effect them as severely.
     
  16. mickey2942

    mickey2942 Well-Known Member

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    I think that you are right. It probably affected people who already had some health issues, much more severely than someone younger who had no health problems.
     
  17. lucylulu

    lucylulu Well-Known Member

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    Tucker Carlson tonight they showed a picture of the room and mini bar. They have the rack and pour liquor system. Some hotels use this system for all inclusive and usually re-stock daily or every other day. It would be easy to pour something else into the bottles. Moo
     
  18. lovesit

    lovesit Active Member

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    We got 3 different versions of what happened. Ultimately the COD was an aneurism, per the coroner in Mexico. But his passport was missing.
     
  19. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    Argh, I need a subscription to read that article. Would you mind quoting some of the most relevant parts?
     
  20. lucylulu

    lucylulu Well-Known Member

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    So sorry to hear that...Thank you for sharing.
     

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