Woman died at Dominican Republic hotel just days before couple found dead at same resort

Justin Chan

A Pennsylvania woman who was vacationing in the Dominican Republic mysteriously died in her room just five days before an engaged couple from Maryland was found dead under similar circumstances at the same resort, Fox News reports.

Miranda Schaup-Werner, a 41-year-old psychotherapist from Allentown, was vacationing to celebrate her ninth anniversary with her husband, Daniel Werner, when she suddenly collapsed after having a drink at the all-inclusive Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana on May 25, a relative told the news outlet.

Jay McDonald, the couple's spokesman and Werner's brother-in-law, said that Schaup sat down, took a selfie and stood up right before taking a sip of her drink. The woman then unexpectedly cried out for help with her husband in the room, he said.

"She started shrieking and she dropped to the floor," McDonald said. "He attempted to do CPR, he tried to resuscitate her."

Paramedics later arrived and reportedly injected Schaup with epinephrine, a hormone that treats severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

"At that point, they just declared her dead," McDonald said, adding that the police "did a very cursory [look] into determining the cause of death."

The spokesman said Schaup had previously been diagnosed with inflammation around her heart 15 years ago but was medically cleared shortly after. He suggested that the hotel and other authorities — who claimed Schaup died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema — were trying to mislead the public about the cause of her death.

In a statement to Fox News, the hotel stopped short of taking responsibility for the woman's passing.

"Mrs. Schaup Werner, who was a guest of Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, was found unresponsive in her room on May 25," the statement read. "Following established protocols, the hotel doctor responded immediately and coordinated her transfer to Hospiten Santo Domingo. Unfortunately, Mrs. Schaup passed away in the room prior."

"In the days that followed, we provided our complete support to Mr. Werner in collaboration with local authorities and the U.S. Embassy," it added. "We are deeply saddened by this situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased."

Five days after Schaup's death, Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, of Prince George's County, Md., were discovered dead in their room at the same resort by an employee after they didn't check out. They arrived the same day Schaup died and were supposed to leave May 30. Police said they found several bottles of medicine used to treat high blood pressure in the couple's room. They also determined that Holmes and Day died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, much like Schaup.

Still, McDonald said, the facts surrounding both Schaup's and the couple's deaths don't add up.

"That was beyond coincidence," he said. "They died five days after, and the cause was determined to be the same, this just puts this whole thing through the stratosphere – something is going on, and we want to know what it is."