State Department confirms 11th mysterious death of American tourist in Dominican Republic

A Forsyth, Ga., man who was only in the country for a day, succumbed to what officials called "respiratory issues", but his family has joined many in wanting to know what is happening

The FBI is assisting Dominican Republic authorities in the investigation into why tourists are dying. So far 11 people are confirmed dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The U.S. State Department has confirmed another death in the Dominican Republic, bringing the number of Americans confirmed to have died while vacationing there to 11.

According to ABC News, Forsyth, Ga., resident Tracy Jerome Lester died March 17 after just one day of vacationing at a resort in the DR with his sister. He had planned to fly home the morning he died.

Jester’s mother, Melody Moore, recalled speaking to her son that evening after he had gone sightseeing and then receiving a call shortly after from her daughter. Moore said her daughter said he had collapsed to his knees and began vomiting blood. She also said that he was complaining of not being able to breathe.

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“I was panicking because I couldn’t get to my children,” Moore said. By early the next morning, Jester was dead.

ABC News reported his body was returned home on April 4. Moore said she knew nothing more about his death other than what was written on his death certificate: “respiratory issues.” She also noted that she did not order a toxicology report because he died before the media attention that has emerged about subsequent deaths in the country among U.S. tourists.

In June, a Black couple from Maryland died in their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Resort in San Pedro de Macoris. An autopsy revealed the pair died of pulmonary edema. Just days prior to their deaths, a Pennsylvania woman was found dead in her hotel room at the same resort.

READ MORE: Second Black American couple found dead in Dominican Republic in two months

Despite the media coverage, the State Department denied that there was an “uptick” in tourists dying in the Caribbean.

Moore has reached out to the FBI regarding her son’s death, but has yet to meet with anyone.