Officials are investigating the death of another U.S. citizen in the Dominican Republic.
Joseph Allen, 55, of Avenel, New Jersey, was found dead in a Dominican Republic hotel room on June 13, according to his family members. Officials have not yet revealed a cause of death.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family for their loss,” a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of State said. “Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we do not have additional information to provide.”
Allen's family told NBC 4 New York he and his friends were staying at the Terra Linda in Sosua. On June 12, Allen complained about being hot at the pool and was going to take a shower and lie down for the night, according to his friends.
"The next morning, they called for a wellness check when they didn't hear from him," a family spokesperson said. "They found his body cold, leading them to believe he died the night before."
The family said Allen was healthy and had just passed a physical before heading to the Dominican Republic, which he visited often.
"That's his vacation spot," the spokesperson said.
Allen's 23-year-old son went to the Dominican Republic to spend time with him on Father's Day only to discover he had passed.
The family is currently trying to get Allen's body back to the United States in order to get an official cause of death.
Allen is the ninth American to die in the Dominican Republic within the past year and a half, according to NBC News. Local government authorities have promised they’re working with U.S. authorities to investigate the recent deaths of a Maryland couple and a Pennsylvania woman in Bahia Principe resorts in May, while saying the cases are “unrelated and isolated.”
News of the deaths prompted other American families to share similar stories of their loved ones mysteriously dying while staying at resorts in the Dominican Republic. At least half a dozen people reportedly fell ill while staying at resorts and at least two of them died after drinking from minibars, family members said.
The deaths, along with the shooting of former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and the beating of a Delaware woman in a Punta Cana resort back in January, have raised safety concerns among those planning to visit the island.
Despite this, news of the deaths and violence have not led to a slew of canceled trips, according to some industry experts. They said however that a snapshot of the overall impact on tourism in the Dominican Republic won't be clear until the government issues its next report in the fall.