Grand Bahia Principe La Romana
Grand Bahia Principe La Romana is a resort known for its breath taking views. However, the resort has recently come under scrutiny after 3 Americans mysteriously died at the premises. IDEE PER VIAGGIARE / Flickr

A string of high profile illnesses, deaths, and a claim of assault in the Dominican Republic has cast a shadow of concern over the country, whose economy is largely based on tourism.

Since the beginning of 2019, the Dominican Republic has been plagued by multiple high-profile cases involving American tourists being seriously injured or dying while in the country.

Miranda Schaup-Werner of Pennsylvania died May 25, having been found unresponsive by the hotel staff at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville resort in her hotel room. According to the hotel, which is located in San Pedro de Macoris, forensics concluded that the 41-year-old had suffered a heart attack.

On May 30, a couple from Maryland, Cynthia Ann Day, 49 and Nathaniel Edward Holmes, 63, had both died as well. The hotel staff had gone to check on them the day that they were supposed to check out, and found the couple unresponsive in their hotel room. Once again, this case takes place in the Bahia Principe resort. The couple were staying at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, which is less than a mile away from its sister resort Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville. The sister resort is where Schaup-Werner was staying.

Regarding the couple, the hotel says there were no signs of violence and that the case of Holmes and Day is still under investigation. The autopsy indicates that the two died from respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, however, officials are still awaiting the toxicology report.

The hotel then released a statement that said: “To date, there are no indications of any correlation between these two unfortunate incidents. We disapprove of any speculation and conjecture on the possible causes of death and urge all to respect the families while the investigation is ongoing”

While there really was no direct correlation between the two cases, another couple came forward with their story. The couple from Colorado told CNN that they would be suing the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana resort after they, too, had fallen ill last June. Kaylyn Knull, 29, and her boyfriend Tom Schwander, 33, were forced to cut their trip short after falling seriously ill during their stay at the resort. Upon the couples return home, a doctor told them that they were likely exposed to organophosphates, which are chemicals usually found in pesticide.

“There’s something going on. What happened to us may be related to what happened to them” Kaylyn Knull told CNN regarding their nightmare vacations relation to the Day and Holmes case

On May 29, Tammy Lawrence-Daley, a resident from Delaware, shared a lengthy Facebook post describing how she was assaulted at the Majestic Elegance Resort in Punta Cana last January. This case is also still under investigation.

The US State Department issued a level two out of four safety warning for the Dominican Republic last April 2019. This warning typically advises travelers to exercise increased caution due to violent crimes in the country, such as armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault. The State Department also says that resort areas tend to be better policed and safer than urban areas for tourists and travelers.

While there has been a surge of unfortunate events in the Dominican Republic, it still remains to be seen whether or not they were connected. For now, the Dominican Republic stays as safe as it has always been but officials urge tourists to be more cautious, regardless.