Georgia man dies in Dominican Republic after drinking soda that didn't 'taste right'
Yet another American tourist has died suspiciously in the Dominican Republic, bringing the total number of mysterious deaths in the Caribbean country to well over 10.
Tracy Jerome Jester Jr., 31, of Forsyth, Ga., passed away on March 17 while vacationing with his sister at a resort, the U.S. State Department and his family told ABC News on Sunday.
"We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in the Dominican Republic in March 2019," a state department spokesman said in a statement. "We offer our sincerest condolences to the family for their loss. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we do not have additional information to provide."
Jester, who had been dealing with lupus, reportedly suffered from a "respiratory illness" after he had gone sightseeing. He had planned to return home the next morning but his sister called the night of March 16 to say he was vomiting and couldn't breathe, his mother Melody Moore said.
"I was panicking because I couldn’t get to my children," she recalled.
Jester's sister told her mother that he "just dropped to his knees and started throwing up blood, and was calling for Mama," Moore said. Several hours later, he purportedly passed away.
In a separate interview with WSB-TV, Moore said that her son had drunk a soda and had told her that it didn't "taste right." She is now convinced that his death is connected to the over 10 questionable deaths that have either involved the consumption of alcohol or the use of hotel amenities.
"Being a mom, I want to go to where he was, where he died at last," she said. "Something is wrong, my son is gone. Something is really wrong."
Most recently, Denver resident Khalid Adkins passed away in the Dominican Republic after he allegedly dripped with sweat and vomited in a plane's bathroom as he tried to return home.
Other victims include New Yorker Donette Edge Cannon, Pennsylvania woman Yvette Monique Sport, Maryland resident David Harrison, Californian Robert Wallace, Ohio resident Jerry Curran, Pennsylvania resident Miranda Schaup-Werner, Maryland couple Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, California resident Robert Turlock, New York resident Leyla Cox and New Jersey resident Joseph Allen.
The FBI is currently assisting Dominican authorities with their investigation into several of the deaths, although Dominican officials have persistently downplayed concerns over their country's safety.
In an interview with Fox News last month, Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero dismissed the notion that foul play was involved.
"We had about 14 deaths last year here of U.S. tourists, and no one said a word," he said. "Now everyone is making a big deal of these."