A Staten Island woman is the latest in a spate of mysterious deaths among American tourists visiting the Dominican Republic.
William Cox told SILive.com that his mother Leyla Cox traveled to the Dominican Republic on June 5 to celebrate her birthday and was found dead in her hotel room in June 10. Cox said that officials told the family his mother, age 53, died of a heart attack, but that he is suspicious of the circumstances amid reports of several tourists dying mysteriously in hotels in the Dominican Republic.
“I have a right to be suspicious,” he told the news station. “With everything going on in the news right now, we think she’s a casualty of what’s been happening.”
The U.S. State Department confirmed Cox’s death in a statement to Fox News, though the statement said she died on June 11, not June 10.
Her death follows reports of several unexplained sudden deaths in the Caribbean tourists spot; including four this spring and three others within the last year. Two of the Americans are believed to have taken a drink from their hotel room minibar preceding their deaths. Another American was found dead of an apparent drowning this week.
William Cox told SILive.com that a toxicology report would not be made unavailable, as he was told that “the toxicology machine is broken.” An autopsy has reportedly been scheduled but it is unclear if a medical examination has been completed.
It is also not known at this time where Cox was staying where she died. William told the news outlet that this was his mother’s second solo trip to the Dominican Republic, and that her family had urged her not to go on the trip due to the reports of mysterious deaths.
“My family wanted her to not go on this vacation,” Cox said, according to the report. “I truly believe if my mother was not in the Dominican Republic, she would have been alive right now.”