Second Black American couple found dead in Dominican Republic in two months

The engaged Maryland couple is the second since April to have died at a resort on the Caribbean island, although their causes of death were different


Dominican Republic
Nathaniel Holmes (L), Cynthia Day (NBC Washington)

Less than two months after authorities in the Dominican Republic found the bodies of a missing African American couple from New York, another Black couple from the states were found dead in their hotel room while vacationing on the island, authorities say.

According to PEOPLE, on Thursday, the couple, identified as Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, of Maryland, were found dead at the Playa Nueva Romana resort, according to a statement released by the resort.

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Hotel officials were alerted after Holmes and Day missed their scheduled check out from their room. When the hotel staff let themselves in, the engaged pair was found lying there unresponsive.

Reports say there were no signs of violence, and the Dominican Republic National Police confirmed an autopsy concluded that respiratory failure and pulmonary edema were the causes of death.

“It should have never happened,” Holmes’ daughter Dajuan Holmes-Hamilton told NBC Washington.

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Medication for high blood pressure was found in the room, and the hotel has expressed their sympathy to the family, stating, “We are deeply saddened by the incident at one of our hotels in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends.”

But given that this comes just days after a Delaware woman alleged that she was attacked and left for dead while on a January vacation in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Department of State said they are working with local authorities on the investigation.

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Back in April, Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle flew to the island for a romantic getaway. The couple stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa resort at the country’s Samaná peninsula and were expected back to the states on March 27 but never returned.

Moore’s sister, Lashay Turner alerted the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic and subsequently filed a police report. Shortly after, Dominican Republic National Police found a woman who fit the description of Ravenelle, lying on the route that led to the international airport in Santo Domingo. She was rushed to the Doctor Dario Contreras Hospital in critical condition and died on April 4.

By the time a man they believe to be Orlando Moore was found on March 31, at sea near Sans Souci, his body was already in the advanced stages of decomposition.