The deaths of seven American tourists in the Dominican Republic this year have raised questions — and concerns — as island officials push back fears the popular destination is unsafe.
Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia insists the deaths are unrelated, CNN reported.
“These cases are very regrettable, but isolated,” he said in a statement, CNN reported. “Investigation into them is a top priority for us and for the National Police. We are asking them to deploy all resources to help provide answers as quickly as possible.”
The State Department has not issued a travel warning, and American officials have not said the deaths were connected, the news outlet noted.
Meanwhile, a New York woman’s family is suspicious her death June 10 during a birthday trip to the country might be the latest tourist fatality.
Leyla Cox, of Staten Island, died just one day after celebrating her 53rd birthday, her son told the Staten Island Advance, saying she would still be alive if she did not go there.
William Cox said he was told by U.S. Embassy officials his mother’s death had been ruled a heart attack.
“I am overwhelmed and confused and in shock,” he told the Advance. “I have a right to be suspicious.”
“With everything going on in the news right now, we think she’s a casualty of what’s been happening,” he added.