FBI assisting with toxicology analysis for U.S. tourists who died in Dominican Republic
June 19 (UPI) — The FBI is testing samples from a Dominican Republic hotel minibar after nine Americans died while traveling to the country over the past 12.
Dominican Republic Ministry of Health communications director Carlos Suero said Wednesday that the FBI is working in collaboration with the country’s government. He said Dominican authorities take an extensive collection of samples, including testing minibars for bacteria, when someone dies in a hotel, CNN reported.
The U.S. Embassy announced the FBI would assist in toxicology analysis for three of the nine Americans who died while traveling in the Dominican Republic, adding results may take up to 30 days.
Suero told Fox News on Wednesday that final or preliminary autopsy reports for the nine tourists showed they died of natural causes.
He also said tests of food, alcohol, the pool, air conditioning and other areas came back negative and that attention on the deaths is “hysteria against the Dominican Republic” to hurt the country’s tourism industry.
Relatives of the nine U.S. tourists who died since June 2018 have expressed skepticism of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones.
Jamie Reed, whose brother Joseph Allen was the most recent American tourist to die while visiting the country, has requested his body be returned to the United States for an autopsy, saying she doesn’t “want them to suppress anything.”