The son of the Staten Island woman who died of an apparent heart attack in the Dominican Republic told The Post early Friday that the country has not done a toxicology report on her — because the country’s toxicology machine’s are broken.
Will Cox, 25, said his mother Leyla Cox went to the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana last week to celebrate her 53rd birthday. On June 10, the day after her birthday, he said he got a call from the U.S. embassy, saying his mother died of an apparent heart attack.
“I don’t know how she died. I don’t know where she died — I know it was in a hotel. I don’t know if she was in a room or at the bar,” Will said in a phone interview.
“The Dominican Republic has not released an autopsy report. They will not do a toxicology report on her because they say the toxicology machines in the Dominican Republic are broken,” Will added.
“I’ve been trying to get her body flown back to the US, so we can do our own autopsy and our own toxicology report,” he said. “But unfortunately that will cost a fortune. And I do not have anywhere close to that sort of money.”
Will, who lives in Tennessee, said his mother was a traveling MRI technician who settled in Staten Island about ten years ago and took a job at Richmond University Medical Center.
He said his mother was in great health and walked everywhere because she did not own a car.
She was an occasional drinker, he said, who likely would have had a few drinks on her vacation.
“That’s what vacation is for — to enjoy yourself and have a good time. That being said, she would not have drank excessively,” Will said.
He did not know if she drank from the minibar at her resort, but was suspicious of the way the country has handled her death.
“I truly believe if she was not in the Dominican Republic she’d be alive today,” Will said.
Cox is the seventh known tourist to have died from a mysterious illness at a Dominican Republic resort in recent weeks.
Many of the deaths — and several other severe illnesses — involved healthy, middle-aged adults who had taken a drink from their hotel room minibar before suddenly becoming gravely sick.
Dominican authorities insist the fatalities are unfortunate and isolated incidents. Excellence Resort did not immediately respond to request for comment.