FBI investigating 3 deaths at same Dominican Republic resort

The FBI is investigating the recent deaths of three Americans at the same resort in the Dominican Republic, according to the U.S. embassy in the Caribbean nation.

Dominican authorities asked the FBI for assistance investigating the deaths of Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, and of a couple, Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, over a five-day period in late May at the Bahia Principe resort in La Romana, according to the embassy.

The FBI said further toxicology results on the three Americans could take up to 30 days. "We ask everyone to be patient while these investigations run their course," said a statement from the embassy.

Schaup-Werner and her husband checked into their room at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville on May 25, and after having a drink from the mini bar, she fell ill, according to the resort and her family. She died a short time later.

On May 30, Holmes and Day were found dead in their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana on the day they were supposed to check out.

Since news of the mysterious deaths was reported, families of three other people reported to have died at Dominican Republic hotels since 2018 have come forward. One died at a Bahia Principe property in Punta Cana, and two died at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, their families said. Two died after taking a drink from the minibar, families said.

In addition, at least six other people have reported getting sick while staying in the Dominican Republic. All of them said they stayed at Bahia Principe properties. At least one reported drinking from the minibar.

A statement from Bahia Principe Resorts released Friday said, "We completely disagree with the dissemination of false information issued publicly which threatens the image and reputation of the company and the integrity and rights of our employees and their families, reserving, where necessary, the right to take appropriate legal action."

The statement didn't say which information hotel officials considered false, and it said the resort is collaborating with authorities' investigations.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino issued a statement Tuesday that said, "We can assure you, the safety and health of our guests is now, and has always been our highest priority."

The statement continued, "Our team members are trained to inspect all supplies, equipment and products that enter the property. Of course, we will continue to evaluate and recalibrate our protocols to strengthen and enhance guest safety."

Like tourism officials in the Dominican Republic, the Hard Rock hotel statement suggested that the reported illnesses and deaths were isolated incidents.

"Seven million tourists visit the Dominican Republic annually and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana hosts approximately a half million guests each year. We will continue welcoming guests to enjoy our beautiful destination and resort, as we have for the past eight years,” the statement said.

Internet searches for flights to the Dominican Republic decreased by 14 percent between June 3 and June 4, and continued to decrease between June 4 to June 10, according to travel company Kayak. On June 6, searches for flight to the Dominican Republic plummeted by 22 percent.

Jarris Herrera told NBC News she had booked a trip to the Dominican Republic with her husband that she had been planning for years to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. But she canceled their plans after hearing reports of the recent deaths. "We just didn't think it was worth it," Herrera said. "It wasn’t worth the risk."

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Scene of David Ortiz shooting in Dominican Republic
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Scene of David Ortiz shooting in Dominican Republic
Investigative police collect evidence at the Dial Bar and Lounge where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot the previous night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (AP Photo/Luis Gomez)
Eliezer Salvador, who said he took former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to the hospital after he was shot the day before, holds Ortiz's shoes while speaking to the press outside the hospital where Ortiz is being treated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzmán)
A bloodied towel sits in the vehicle that was used to rush Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to the hospital the previous day after he was shot in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzmán)
An investigative police officer works to collect evidence outside the Dial Bar and Lounge where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot inside the previous night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (AP Photo/Luis Gomez)
The Dial Bar and Lounge where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot the previous night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the bar around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. (AP Photo/Luis Gomez)
A police officer stands guard at the hospital where former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is hospitalized after being shot the previous day in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
The ambulance carrying former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is parked next to a small ambulance plane that will fly him to Boston, at Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 10, 2019. Doctors removed Ortiz s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed the previous day by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. (AP Photo/Juan Miguel Peña)
Some people and relatives of the former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz try to prevent the media from getting close and taking pictures of Ortiz in an ambulance at a hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before he was carried to the airport Monday, June 10, 2019. Ortiz helped his adopted city recover from the Boston Marathon bombings. And now the Red Sox are calling on their fans to reciprocate for their beloved Big Papi. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
Porfirio Allende Dechamps Vazquez, a suspect in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is taken to court by police in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, June 14, 2019. Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
Joel Rodríguez Cruz, a suspect in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is taken to court by police in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, June 14, 2019. Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
José Eduardo Ciprian, a suspect in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is taken to court by police in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday, June 14, 2019. Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
The director of the National Police, General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte shows the weapon that was used to shoot former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, during a press conference at the Attorney General's Office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Six suspects, including the alleged gunman, have been detained in the shooting, the Dominican Republic's chief prosecutor said Wednesday. (AP Photo / Roberto Guzman)
En esta fotografía del 11 de junio de 2019, Eddy Vladimir Feliz García, detenido en relación con el ataque a tiros contra el ex toletero de los medias Rojas de Boston, David Ortiz, es conducido por policías a un tribunal en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana. Su abogado, Deivi Solano, dijo que Feliz García no tenía idea de quien se trataba y confío en que le imputen complicidad en un intento de homicidio. (AP Foto/Roberto Guzman)
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