/Families of couple that died at Dominican Republic resort want independent autopsies

Families of couple that died at Dominican Republic resort want independent autopsies

The bodies of a Maryland couple found dead under mysterious circumstances in their room at a Dominican Republic resort have been returned to the United States and the families of both want independent autopsies conducted in hopes of getting to the bottom of how they perished, an attorney for the loved ones said.

The remains of Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, arrived in Maryland on Tuesday morning, Steven E. Bullock, an attorney for the couple’s families told ABC News.

Bullock said independent tests are expected to be run on the couple to shed new light on what killed them as they vacationed at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Resort in San Pedro de Macoris on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic.

“We plan to do our own toxicology and autopsy,” Bullock said.

PHOTO: A photograph posted on Facebook on May 28, 2019, shows Americans Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day on vacation in the Dominican Republic, before they were found dead at a hotel there in late May 2019.Nathaniel Holmes/Facebook

A photograph posted on Facebook on May 28, 2019, shows Americans Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day on vacation in the Dominican Republic, before they were found dead at a hotel there in late May 2019.

Holmes and Day were found dead on May 30 in their room at the resort.

Autopsies performed in the Dominican Republic determined preliminary causes of death for both Holmes and Day were respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. Authorities in the Dominican Republic have yet to determine what triggered the fatal symptoms in the couple at approximately the same time and are awaiting the results of toxicology and histopathology tests.

The couple died just five days after Miranda Schaupp-Werner, 41, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was found dead at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel at the same resort.

An autopsy performed on Schaupp-Werner determined that she also died from respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, according to the Dominican Republic National Police.

Day, Holmes and Schaupp-Werner were all described by their families as healthy before they traveled to the Dominican Republic.

Authorities investigating the deaths have not commented on any common possibilities that could have led to the fatalities.

Both the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana and the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville are run by Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, which is a subsidiary of the Spanish company Grupo Pinero.

“Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts would like to express our deep respect to the authorities and the ongoing investigations,” the company said in a statement. “We reiterate our firm commitment to collaborating completely with the authorities and hope for a prompt resolution of their inquiries and actions.”

PHOTO: A photograph posted to Facebook on May 28, 2019, shows Americans Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day on vacation in the Dominican Republic, before they were found dead at a hotel there in late May 2019.Nathaniel Holmes/Facebook

A photograph posted to Facebook on May 28, 2019, shows Americans Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day on vacation in the Dominican Republic, before they were found dead at a hotel there in late May 2019.

The bodies of Holmes and Day showed no signs of violence when they were discovered, police said. Several bottles of medicine used to treat high blood pressure were found in the couple’s room, according to authorities. No other drugs were found.

Schaupp-Werner died suddenly in her hotel room after having a drink from the in-room mini-bar, a family spokesperson, Jay McDonald, said in a statement to ABC News.

McDonald said Schaupp-Werner died on the day she arrived in the Dominican Republic with her husband, Daniel Werner.

An official at the U.S. Department of State said they are “actively monitoring” the investigations into the deaths of the three Americans.

“At this point, we are not aware of any connection between these incidents,” the official told ABC News in a statement.

Meanwhile, Kaylynn Knull and her boyfriend, Tom Schwander, of Colorado, said they both became ill while staying at the Grand Bahia Principe hotel in June 2018.

Knull and Schwander told ABC Denver affiliate KMGH that they woke up in the room early one morning covered in sweat. They said they were also drooling excessively and their eyes would not stop watering.

They said that prior to becoming sick, they noticed a strange smell in their room, describing it as if someone “dumped paint everywhere.”

After returning home, Knull and Schwander were examined by their doctor who told them they likely experienced poisoning from organophosphate, a form of insecticide, which Knull said she believes was being used on plants around the resort.

Knull and Schwander sued the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana after the resort refused to reveal the chemical used on its grounds or refund their money.

Resort officials did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the couple’s claims.

ABC News’ Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.

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