Bodies of Engaged Maryland Couple Who Were Found Dead in the Dominican Republic Finally Flown Home
Nearly two weeks since a Maryland couple was found dead in their Dominican Republic hotel room, their bodies have been flown back to the United States.
Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day’s bodies were finally returned to Temple Hills, MD, the couple’s family lawyer Steven Bullock confirmed to PEOPLE in a statement Tuesday.
As their families prepare funeral arrangements, Bullock said they also intend on having autopsies performed and reviewing the toxicology report when it is completed.
His statement comes on the heels of the U.S. State Department confirming that an FBI investigation will be conducted to look into Holmes and Day’s mysterious deaths, as well as two other American tourists who died while in the Dominican Republic.
“The families of Cynthia Ann Day and Nathaniel Edward Holmes would like to thank the community for their condolences and support in their loss,” Bullock said. “We are continuing to investigate the exact cause of death.”
“The families are determined to find out what happened and why. At this time the cause of death remains a mystery,” the lawyer added. “We look forward to getting the FBI findings.”
RELATED: Engaged Couple’s Death at Dominican Resort Was ‘Unusual,’ Says Official; Toxicology Results Pending
Holmes, 63, and Day, 49, were found dead in their hotel room on May 30, according to a statement released by the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana resort, where the couple had been staying since May 25.
The pair was discovered by hotel staff who went to check on them after they missed their scheduled check-out window that same day, according to the hotel’s statement.
Their bodies showed no signs of violence, USA Today reports. The Dominican Republic National Police announced an autopsy found the couple had respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. Day also reportedly suffered cerebral edema.
Medication for high blood pressure was found in the room, WBAL reports. Toxicology results are still currently pending.
Holmes and Day were two of four American tourists who recently died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Because of their mysterious deaths, the FBI will be conducting an investigation into the matter, according to the U.S. State Department.
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In April, Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died while staying at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana. His niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News that he became ill after having a drink from his hotel room’s minibar. He was in the country to attend his stepson’s wedding.
“He was fine,” Arnold said. “On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”
He died three days later, and Arnold claims that authorities have not given them a cause of death. “We have so many questions,” she said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
RELATED: American Suddenly Died in Dominican Republic Weeks Before 3 Others, and FBI Will Investigate
Weeks after Wallace’s death, three more American tourists died at the same resort property over a five-day period.
On May 25, Miranda Schaup-Werner, an Allentown, Pennsylvania psychotherapist, 41, collapsed shortly after mixing a drink from the minibar in the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, where she was celebrating her 9th wedding anniversary with husband Daniel Werner.
According to the reports of her autopsy released Thursday by the Attorney General of the Dominican Republic, she died of a heart attack that caused respiratory failure and fluid accumulation in her lungs.
Five days later, Holmes and Day were found unresponsive in their hotel room, which was on the same resort as Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville.
Since then, many others have spoken out about similar experiences in the Dominican Republic, including a Colorado couple who stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel and alleged that they became violently ill after being exposed to what they suspect were insecticides through the air conditioning system.
According to a lawsuit filed by Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander, their room smelled of chemicals. They say they experienced headaches, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea.
RELATED: Pennsylvania Woman Died at Same Dominican Republic Hotel 5 Days Before Engaged Couple Found Dead
The FBI confirmed to Fox that it was joining the investigation into mysterious deaths and illnesses on the island. They will send experts to conduct tests at the Bahia Principe hotels where Schaup-Werner, Holmes and Day died.
Univision reported that Robin Bernstein, the ambassador of the United States to the Dominican Republic, said last week the recent high-profile incidents involving American tourists in the Caribbean island nation — including the assault of a woman at another resort — were isolated cases.
“We have 2.7 million Americans who come to the country and the statistics is that this is a very … unique event,” Bernstein said. “They come to visit the beautiful beaches and enjoy the great culture. Unfortunately, sometimes those things happen to people.”
The resorts did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on Monday.
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