Family seeks answers after Whitehall woman, Maryland couple die at Dominican Republic resort


There are now what appear to be conflicting reports surrounding the death of a 41-year-old Whitehall woman in the Dominican Republic.

A family spokesperson said Tuesday they were told Miranda Schaup-Werner died of respiratory failure, but the hotel said Wednesday it was a heart attack.

The U.S. Embassy tells 69 News it is actively monitoring the Dominican investigations into Schaup-Werner's death as well as the deaths of a Maryland couple found dead at the same resort.

Schaup-Werner and her husband, Dan, were in the Dominican Republic celebrating their anniversary, family spokesperson Jay McDonald said.

After checking in to the Grand Bahia Principe hotel on May 25th, the couple went up to their room and Schaup-Werner grabbed a drink from the room's minibar.

A short time later, Schaup-Werner suddenly collapsed.

"One moment she seemed perfectly fine and then the next, the exact opposite," McDonald said.

Schaup-Werner was unresponsive when the medical team arrived, and she died before they were able to take her to the hospital, according to a statement from the hotel.

Five days later, a Maryland couple was found dead in their room at the same resort. Ed Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were staying at a different Bahia Principe hotel on the same campus.

Police said all three people had died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, but now the hotel says investigators determined Schaup-Werner's cause of death was a heart attack, and that her husband confirmed she had a history of heart conditions.

McDonald said Schaup-Werner was treated for a heart condition 15 years ago, but got a clean bill of health at the time.

The hotel's statement says Ed and Cynthia's causes of death are still under investigation.

Still, it's a mystery. Three Americans suddenly dead in the same week, at the same resort.

"The bizarre issue of the same hotel and these things happening within days of each other and the complete unexpected nature of what happened to Miranda, we just want to understand this," McDonald said.

Dr. Joseph Schellenberg, LVHN pulmonary and critical care physician, says even with pre-existing conditions, the three deaths are an eerie coincidence.

"Usually if you're saying the same people at the same time, toxic exposure should also be probably up there, if not higher, as a potential cause," Schellenberg said.

The hotel says there are no indications of any correlation between Schaup-Werner's and the Maryland couple's deaths.