The Federal Bureau of Investigation has determined that the cause of several American tourists' deaths while vacationing in the Dominican Republic was not due to poisoned alcohol.
The FBI assisted with toxicology exams for three of the at least nine tourists that died in the Dominican Republic. Miranda Schaup-Werner, a 41-year-old Pennsylvania resident died in May at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana. A couple from Maryland, 63-year-old Nathanial Holmes and 49-year-old Cynthia Day also died there.
The spate of deaths alarmed many Americans, who wondered if they should avoid vacationing in the country.
The State department said the FBI ruled out methanol poisoning from alcohol for the deaths.The results are consistent with the autopsies performed by officials from the Dominican Republic earlier this year.
"With some 3.2 million U.S. tourists visiting the Dominican Republic last year, it's not unusual for eight people to die while on vacation over any six-month period, "tourism Minister Francisco Javier García told reporters in June.
"What some media are describing as an avalanche of deaths doesn't correspond to the reality that we're living today in the Dominican Republic," García said.
Holmes and Day's family's lawyer, Steven E. Bullock told the New York times that the FBI results still needed further review.
“You had a couple that died of the same ailment at the same time, and they want to say that it’s natural causes,” Mr. Bullock said with a scoff. “I think there’s something for us to continue to look into.”