Fourth American Tourist Recently Died in Dominican Republic After Drinking From Minibar: Report

By Zachary Stieber

An American man died after grabbing a drink from the minibar in his hotel room in the Dominican Republic, a family member said, making him the fourth tourist to pass away in the Caribbean country in recent months.

Robert Bell Wallace, a 67-year-old California man, suddenly became sick after drinking a scotch in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana, his niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News.

Wallace was visiting the Dominican Republic for his stepson’s wedding.

“He was fine,” Arnold said. “He and his wife arrived there at around midnight on April 10. On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”

A hotel doctor cleared Arnold, then said on April 13 that he should be checked into a hospital. The man died the next day.

The family has not been told what caused Arnold’s death.

“We have so many questions,” she said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

The U.S. State Department confirmed to Fox that Wallace died in April in the Dominican Republic.

Three Americans died at a different Dominican resort in May.

Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, was with her husband Daniel Werner on May 25 when she had a drink from the minibar in her room before suddenly collapsing. Officials said her cause of death was a heart attack.

Cynthia Day, 49, and Nathaniel Holmes, 63, were found dead in their hotel room on May 30. Officials said that an autopsy indicated they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs.

Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day in a file photo. (Cynthia Day/Facebook)

The families of all three victims have expressed doubts about how their relatives died and said they’d order tests to be done on the bodies when they arrived in America.

The deaths have prompted a slew of other Americans to come forward about other deaths and mysterious sicknesses in the Dominican Republic.

A Colorado couple said they got violently ill at the same resort where the Americans died and a relative of a Pennsylvania woman said that her sister died there last year after suddenly collapsing.

A Maryland woman said that she and her husband were in the country last year when he died. His cause of death was also listed as pulmonary edema in addition to a heart attack.

“He couldn’t sit up, and he was making noises that … you couldn’t make out. He was struggling quite a bit to get out of bed and to talk,” Dawn McCoy told WTOP of her husband, David Harrison. “I tried to communicate with him and all he could do was mumble.”

They were at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where Wallace died in April. McCoy said that her husband was in good health apart from taking pills for high blood pressure, even being cleared by a doctor in the United States before traveling.

“I started seeing all these other people that were dying of the same exact causes, which made me start to second guess. I no longer feel like my husband died of natural causes,” McCoy said.

The U.S. State Department currently has a level 2 travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, which sits on an island in the Caribbean bordering Haiti.

“Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo,” the State Department stated.

“The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale.”