Another American dies while staying at Dominican Republic resort

Layla Cox with her son, Will Cox.
Layla Cox with her son, Will Cox. Copyright Courtesy Will Cox
By Elisha Fieldstadt and Abigail Williams with NBC News World News
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Leyla Cox, 53, died Tuesday, and another family has reported that their loved one died in the Dominican Republic in January.


A woman died earlier this week in the Dominican Republic, the latest in a spate of reported illnesses and deaths at resorts in the Caribbean country, according to the U.S. State Department.Leyla Cox, 53, was staying at the Excellence resort in Punta Cana when she died on Tuesday, her son Will, told NBC News.

Layla Cox with her son, Will Cox.
Layla Cox with her son, Will Cox.Courtesy Will Cox

Meanwhile, another family has reported that their loved one died in the Dominican Republic in January.Jerry Curran, 78, checked into the Dreams resort in Punta Cana on Jan 22, and died three days later, his daughter Kellie Brown told NBC affiliate WKYC in Ohio."He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back," Brown said.Authorities told the family that one of Curran's causes of death was pulmonary edema, "which seems to be common in everyone else who's passed that we're learning about," Brown said.In May, Miranda Schaup-Werner and a couple, Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day all died over a five-day periodat the Bahia Principe resort in La Romana. Pulmonary edema — excess fluid in the lungs — was listed as causes of death for both of them in preliminary reports.Schaup-Werner, 41, and her husband checked into their room at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville on May 25, and after having a drink from the mini bar, she fell ill, according to the resort and her family. She died a short time later.The FBI, which is investigating the three deaths, said further toxicology results on the Americans could take up to 30 days.Since news of the mysterious deaths was reported, families have shared similar stories of their relatives mysteriously dying while staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic.At least two died after taking a drink from the minibar, families said."Shark Tank" star Barbara Corcoran's representatives told NBC News that her brother also died in the Dominican Republic at the end of April. She was told he suffered a heart attack.At least half a dozen people have reported abruptly falling ill while staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic. All of them said they stayed at Bahia Principe properties. At least one reported drinking from the minibar before getting sick.A statement from Bahia Principe Resorts released Friday said, "We completely disagree with the dissemination of false information issued publicly which threatens the image and reputation of the company and the integrity and rights of our employees and their families, reserving, where necessary, the right to take appropriate legal action."The statement didn't say which information hotel officials considered false, and added that the resort is cooperating with authorities' investigations.Neither the Excellence resort or the Dreams resort immediately responded to requests for comment Friday.

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