As investigators worked to determine how so many American tourists have turned up dead in recent months in the Dominican Republic, social media sleuths have been pretty consistent and adamant about what they say has caused the string of deaths and illnesses. The FBI has even joined in the investigation of the deaths that share so many similarities.
Those similarities are exactly what seems to have fueled the social media theory that the deaths in the Dominican Republic were the work of a serial killer. And while that theory has not been confirmed, nor even addressed, by officials, the fact that the six people who died each drank from their resort’s hotel room minibar before dying was hard to ignore.
Dozens of other American tourists across the island nation who survived their trips to the popular vacation destination also complained of severe sicknesses. Could someone be intentionally poisoning the contents of hotel room minibars? While the supposition seemed far-fetched, it could not be ruled out as investigators kept searching for answers.
One of the scenes of the potential crimes has been at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana, where at least three of the deaths took place. One traveler to the hotel resort in October told the New York Post she suspected that something evil was at play.
“I’ve heard all these different theories and the most that make sense to me would be a disgruntled employee or a serial killer,” Awilda Montes, who “began vomiting blood after drinking soda from her minibar” at the same hotel, said recently. “I’m doing preparations for my daughter’s baby shower and yesterday she turned to me and said, ‘Just to think you could be gone, you could have missed all of this.’”
To be sure, aside from the eerie pattern, there have been no other indications that there was a serial killer on the loose in the Dominican Republic and officials have refrained from suggesting as much.
There has also not been a travel ban announced by the State Department, something that would be sure to be in place should it be determined that suspicions of a serial killer had any credence. The New York Post reported that nearly 70 tourists in the Dominican Republic said they got violently sick on their trips since March. There were only 10 for all of 2018.
While the American embassy in the Dominican Republic asked “everyone to be patient while these investigations run their course,” the families of Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, a Black couple engaged to be married who were found dead in their Grand Bahia Principe hotel room late last month, plan to have their own toxicology tests and autopsies conducted independently of Dominican authorities.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts consequently went on damage control and issued a brief statement denying any culpability and making reference to “false statements” associated with what it called “two unfortunate events.” The statement also threatened legal action, though it was not clear who or what could be targeted with a lawsuit.