What We Know About The Recent Deaths Of American Tourists In The Dominican Republic

Hayley Miller

UPDATE (1:03 a.m. June 25): A New York man ― identified by local news reports as 56-year-old Vittorio Caruso ― died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, the State Department confirmed on Monday. His death brings the total number of American tourists who’ve died in the Caribbean country since June 2018 to at least 10. 

This month alone, at least three Americans have suddenly died while holidaying in the Dominican Republic. Leyla Cox, a 53-year-old New York woman, died in her room at Excellence Resorts in Punta Cana on June 10. The resort said Cox had died of a heart attack but her son told WCBS-TV that he didn’t believe his mother had died of natural causes.  

Three days after Cox’s death, Joseph Allen, a 55-year-old New Jersey native, was found dead in his room at Terra Linda Resort in Sosua. Allen was in good physical health, his family said. His cause of death has not been released.

Caruso, the most recently reported fatality, died on June 17, his family told News 12 Long Island. Family members said they were having difficulty “getting straight answers” from Dominican authorities but said Caruso was believed to have died after suffering respiratory distress and possibly a heart attack.

As the Dominican Republic faces heightened global scrutiny ― and an FBI investigation ― following the rash of tourist deaths, the nation’s officials have continued to insist that the deaths are nothing out of the ordinary.  

“The Dominican Republic is a safe country,” Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia told reporters last week. “There is no such thing as mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic. There is not an...

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