A New Jersey man died last week while staying at a resort in the Dominican Republic, becoming at least the ninth mysterious death in the last year. Joseph Allen, 55, was found dead Thursday in his room at the Terra Linda Resort in the Dominican Republic city of Sousa, said his sister Jaimie Reed.
The family doesn’t know what caused his death. He had been traveling with friends, and previously stayed at the same resort many times before, Reed said.
The night before Joseph Allen died, family members said Allen, complained to friends about the heat and went back to his room to have a shower, cool off and lie down.
Thursday morning, his friends became concerned when he did not answer his phone and asked the front desk to let them into his room.
“The maid opens the door, screams, slams the door. My brother was on the floor dead, between his room and the bathroom,” Jason Allen said.
The US State Department has confirmed the death.
Jason Allen told NBC New York that he doesn’t know who to blame for the death of his brother.
The family said Allen was healthy and had just passed a physical before heading to the Dominican Republic.
Officials from the Dominican Republic insist the country is still safe for tourists.
Between 2012 to December 2018, 128 Americans have died in the Dominican Republic caused by something other than natural causes, according to statistics on the US Department of State website. These deaths include homicides, drownings, suicides and accidents.
Local government authorities said they’re working with U.S. authorities to investigate the recent deaths of a Maryland couple and Pennsylvanian woman in Bahia Principe resorts in May.
The Dominican Republic is the most visited Caribbean island with over 6.7 million visitors in 2017 alone. The U.S. and Canada have yet to issue new travel advisories with the recent spate of deaths that have made international headlines.