On October 16, Fox43 in Pennsylvania reported that the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs stated, “The results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities."
The statement appears to have been provided exclusively to Fox43 and supports the findings of authorities in the Dominican Republic that the cause of death of a Maryland couple and Pennsylvania women who died in May were due to natural causes, despite sensationalized media coverage suggesting the deaths were ‘mysterious’ in nature.
We know the passing of these individuals is difficult for their family and friends and our hearts go out to them. We also appreciate the State Department’s willingness to share information about the additional toxicology tests, ensuring travelers have accurate information about these sensationalized deaths in the Dominican Republic, despite extensive and misleading media coverage.
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism has taken steps to further enhance the safety of the tourists, including increasing security standards in hotel establishments, improving emergency protocols, increasing training, providing accreditation around food and beverage safety, and implementing a program to assist tourists.
In 2018, 6.6 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic, of which 3.2 million came from the United States and Canada. 99 percent of the tourists from the United States said they would return to the country on vacation and 94 percent evaluated the Dominican Republic’s tourism services as excellent.