Whitehall woman dies at Dominican Republic hotel days before Md. couple found dead at same resort

 

A Lehigh Valley woman is one of three people to mysteriously die at a Dominican Republic resort, and now her family wants answers.

Family members say Miranda Schaup-Werner was on vacation with her husband when she suddenly collapsed and died.

Just five days later, a Maryland couple was found dead at the same resort.

"What we thought was a freak event now we don't know," said Jay McDonald, Schaup-Werner's brother-in-law.

McDonald said the 41-year-old Whitehall woman and her husband flew to the Dominican Republic on May 25 to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary.

The couple checked in to the Grand Bahia Principe hotel in La Romana, went straight to their room and began to relax. Schaup-Werner had a drink from the minibar.

"At one point, she was sitting there happily smiling and taking pictures, and the next moment she was in acute pain and called out for Dan and she collapsed," McDonald said.

Her husband performed CPR and the EMTs did all they could but were unable to revive her.

"He was understandably in shock but the whole thing was just so stunning," McDonald said.

Schaup-Werner, a psychotherapist in Allentown, died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, according to the hotel. McDonald said she had a heart issue 15 years ago, but doctors then gave her a clean bill of health.

Soon after returning home to Pennsylvania, the family heard about the Maryland couple that checked into the same hotel on the same day as Schaup-Werner and her husband.

Five days later, after missing their scheduled check-out time, hotel staff found Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, dead in their room.

Dominican Republic National Police say Holmes and Day died of the same cause as Schaup-Werner.

"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.

Following the couple's death, the hotel posted a statement saying, "There were no signs of violence... We are in complete collaboration with them (authorities), but as the investigation is ongoing, we have no further information to share."

69 News is told police in the DR are investigating the couple's death as suspicious, but not Schaup-Werner's because they say her death does not appear to be suspicious.

"She was a very sweet person and at 41, had a lot of life ahead of her and we miss her," McDonald said.

Officials with the hotel say they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation. The FBI and State Department are also following up on her death.