Dominican Republic authorities dispute woman's story about brutal attack at resort
Dominican Republic authorities have stopped short of confirming a Delaware woman's story about a brutal attack at an all-inclusive hotel that left her fighting for her life, the New York Post reports.
Last Wednesday, Tammy Lawrence-Daley, a 51-year-old mother of two from Wilmington, went on Facebook to share harrowing details of an attack in January in which she was allegedly kicked in the head, beaten by a club and strangled multiple times. At the time, Lawrence-Daley was staying at Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana.
Dominican Republic police have since claimed there are holes in the woman's story and are urging the public to hold off on making any assumptions.
"There is a lot of conjecture about the case, a lot of information that doesn't match some of the statements," the country's national police chief spokesman Col. Frank Durán said. "We have to wait for the investigation to end."
Last week, Lawrence-Daley wrote that she was vacationing with her husband Christopher and their friends, Diane and James Doering, when the incident occurred. On the second day of their trip, the four attended a show at the Majestic Elegance, which ended around 10:30 p.m. Lawrence-Daley said she decided to grab something to eat after room service told her they were no longer serving food that night. She said she then told her husband that she would head to the hotel's lounge for a snack and come back to their room — except she never did.
"I ended up bypassing the lounge in our building, and opted to go to the lounge in the next building, which was on the beach, " she wrote. "I thought I could get some pictures of the moon on the water, but I never made it to the beach."
Lawrence-Daley said as she walked through the rotunda between the two buildings, a man wearing a uniform with a Majestic Elegance logo suddenly attacked her.
"I took about 10 or so steps just swinging my wristlet back and forth, not a care in the world," she explained. "That's when I heard it. Heavy footsteps ... one, two, three, four, then they sped up, and then before I could react I was plowed into from behind and immediately immobilized. His arms wrapped around me and he started pulling me immediately into an unlocked maintenance room ..."
Lawrence-Daley said the next eight hours were full of "pain and fear" — the suspect allegedly strangled her "multiple times to unconsciousness," dragged her down to an "underground waste water area," kicked her in the head, beat her with a club and strangled her again before leaving her in an area she called "the hole."
"I spent 5 days in the medical clinic (an offsite hospital) and had surgery to repair my injuries," she wrote. "I am still dealing with several issues, including nerve damage, as well as, all of the medical expenses since being home."
Even worse, Lawrence-Daley said, the hotel did not claim any responsibility for the attack because she could not identify her attacker. Majestic Elegance also wasn't particularly responsive either when she went missing, she added.
"My husband and friends went to the front desk at least 3 times throughout the night before security even agreed to look for me," she wrote. "This consisted of them taking a quad to the beach and looking on the beach. The security at Majestic Elegance thought I was drunk somewhere. I went missing at 10:30 and was found over 8 hrs later. It was hell."
Since Lawrence-Daley shared her experience last week, her post has gone viral. More than 280,000 Facebook users have reacted to her post and over 290,000 people have shared it.
While Dominican Republic police insist that parts of Lawrence-Daley's story don't add up, the woman's husband, Christopher, told WCAU last Friday that the authorities have not been truthful about their investigation into the attack. The Dominican Republic's Office of the Attorney General had earlier claimed that the couple had refused to file a complaint.
"We were supposed to get a police report in February and we didn't get that," Christopher said in response.