American tourists become severely ill, notice strange smell at Dominican Republican resort where travelers have died mysteriously: Report

A couple from Philadelphia have come forward to report having become ill at the same Dominican Republic resort property that is reportedly being investigated following a rash of questionable fatalities in the area.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, the FBI is working with authorities in the Dominican Republic to investigate reports of six deaths tied to resorts in the Caribbean, including three at two separate Baha Principe hotel properties: A Maryland couple and a 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman, all who reportedly died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.

Following the reports of the deaths, a Philadelphia couple has come forward about an illness they contracted last June during a stay at the Bahia Principe Hotel. Doug Hand and Susie Lauterborn told CBS3 Philadelphia that they initially believed they had contracted food poisoning last June, with Lauterborn experiencing more severe symptoms.

“I think it was the second or third day, she was just feeling horrible,” Hand told the news station, explaining that Lauterborn had a fever of over 100 degrees with vomiting and diarrhea, cold sweats, and a rash on her torso.

Hand also said that he noticed an odd odor in the room when they arrived.

“Like as soon as we got to the room, I noticed a smell,” Hand said. “It smelled like a moldy, mildewy dirty air. My wife didn’t smell it but I like picked up on it right away.”

Commenting on the reports of the deaths at the same resort, Lauterborn said, “Maybe there’s something deeper here. It’s really crazy to hear that people had passed away.”

CBS3 is awaiting comment from the U.S. State Department about the couple’s illness.


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