Another American tourist dead in Dominican Republic, taking the total to 8 this year

Published on : Tuesday, June 25, 2019

According to multiple reports, a 56-year-old man from Long Island, New York, has died in the Dominican Republic. Speaking to a media outlet, Vittorio Caruso’s family said about their relative’s death on June 17. His sister-in-law Lisa Maria Caruso, said his family got a phone call telling them he was sick, only to find out minutes later that he died. Vitttorio owned a pizza shop in Glen Cove, New York.



The State Department in a statement said Caruso had died in June.



Caruso’s relatives said Dominican authorities were not giving the family clear answers. “We found out he was brought by ambulance to the hospital in respiratory distress after drinking something,” said Lisa Maria Caruso. “We were told he wasn’t responding to any meds he was given and died. I honestly don’t know exactly what happened, as we have been told conflicting stories from different people there.”



The family was in contact with Dominican Republic authorities and found out that he might have had a heart attack.



Caruso is the eighth confirmed American to have died this year in the Dominican Republic, and questions have been raised about whether travel is safe to the Caribbean vacation destination. But a Dominican Republic official spoke out at a press conference Friday to dispel concerns.



“The Dominican Republic is a safe country,” Francisco Javier Garcia, the minister of tourism in the Dominican Republic, told reporters.



“There is no such thing as mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic,” Garcia said. “There is not an avalanche of deaths.”



Garcia said the number of deaths is not out of the ordinary and that the number is lower than in some previous years. Garcia said in both 2011 and 2015 through June, 15 tourists died in the Dominican Republic.



Two weeks ago, two Americans were found dead in their hotel rooms in the Caribbean vacation destination: Joseph Allen, 55, of Woodbridge, New Jersey, and Leyla Cox, 53, of Staten Island, New York.



Cox died on June 10, the State Department confirmed.



That same week, David Ortiz, one of the most popular players in Boston Red Sox history, was shot in his native Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic’s chief prosecutor said Ortiz was not the intended target of the June 9 shooting that put his life in peril, but was merely the victim of a hit gone wrong.

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