Joseph Allen, 55, was found dead in his room at the Terra Linda Resort in Sosúa on Thursday, CNN reported.
In a statement to HuffPost, a State Department spokesperson confirmed that a second death had occurred this month, after 53-year-old Leyla Cox of New York was found unresponsive in her hotel room last week.
“We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in June 2019 in the Dominican Republic,” the spokesperson said. “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.”
Allen’s sister, Jaimie Reed, told local ABC affiliate KABC-TV that his friends said he was at the hotel pool on Wednesday when he complained about feeling hot and went to his room to shower. That night, his condition hadn’t improved, and he said he was going to bed. When one of his friends knocked on his door the next morning, Allen didn’t respond.
The friend then requested a hotel wellness check, and Allen was found dead.
Reed recalled her brother was in overall good health with no significant medical problems.
Allen’s death comes just days after Cox, who traveled to the island earlier this month to ring in her birthday, and was discovered dead on June 10 in her hotel room, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Her son, William Cox, told the outlet that U.S. Embassy officials informed him that she died of a heart attack, but he remains skeptical of the circumstances, considering the string of deaths in the Caribbean nation.
Since June 2018, at least seven other Americans have died in the Dominican Republic. However, one of them ― Jonathan Corcoran, the brother of “Shark Tank” host Barbara Corcoran ― is believed to have died of natural causes.
In a statement released last week, the TV star said her brother “had an existing heart condition.”
Other deaths have not been as easily explained, several occurring at Bahía Príncipe’s resorts and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana. Multiple deaths were reported to have happened after tourists consumed drinks from their hotel room minibars.
On June 11, the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo said it “is actively working with the Government of the Dominican Republic and the private sector at the highest levels to ensure that U.S. citizens are safe and feel safe while in the Dominican Republic,” adding that it has requested the FBI’s help.
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