The FBI is reportedly examining blood samples of American tourists who died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic in recent months.
Authorities in the U.S. are reportedly looking to track down the suppliers of alcoholic beverages that some tourists may have consumed before they became ill or died. Law enforcement officials told the New York Post that investigators are looking to determine if the alcohol may have been contaminated.
Following the most recent report of a Staten Island woman who was found dead in her hotel room this week, there now appear to be five questionable deaths in at the Caribbean tourist destination within the last several weeks, and the families of three tourists who died there within the last year are now reportedly questioning the circumstances. Additionally, an American yoga instructor was reportedly swept away by a riptide this week, though her death appears to be an accidental drowning. And an American couple who traveled to the Dominican Republic last year said they both fell ill with what they believed at the time to be possible food poisoning, with one of the pair experiencing severe symptoms.
According to the report, a New York Post reporter who visited a Dominican Republic resort observed a potent smell coming from vodka in the hotel room, which they said resembled the smell of pure alcohol.
“Adulterated alcohol is usually methanol added to alcohol or just plain methanol, which is very, very toxic,” Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic science professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, told the New York Post. He reportedly said that some of the symptoms experienced by the tourists were consistent with poisoning.
“It looks to me, from what I’ve heard and read, is that something was added to the drinks or bottles in those little refrigerators.”
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.