Staten Island woman, Leyla Cox ‘mysteriously’ dies while vacationing in the Dominican Republic becomes the latest suspect fatality as son now demands answers.
Leyla Cox, of New Brighton, died on June 10, just one day after celebrating her 53rd birthday, her son told the Staten Island Advance, saying she would still be alive if she didn’t go to the popular Caribbean island.
William Cox, 25, said US Embassy officials told him his mother’s death had been ruled a heart attack following an autopsy, but he said the spate of recent unexplained deaths of US visitors at the popular tourist destination made him suspicious.
‘I am overwhelmed and confused and in shock,’ he said Thursday. ‘I have a right to be suspicious.’
‘With everything going on in the news right now, we think she’s a casualty of what’s been happening.’
His mother, who often traveled alone, was found dead in her hotel room.
The woman’s son said his family begged Cox to cancel her planned vacation to the popular tourist destination before she left on June 5. She was due to return on Wednesday.
It is unclear who found Cox or if she died in one of the hotels where six other US tourists have unexpectedly passed away in the past 12 months.
‘My family wanted her to not go on this vacation,’ Cox said. ‘I truly believe if my mother was not in the Dominican Republic, she would have been alive right now.’
No available toxicology reports cause all of Dominican Republic’s machines are broken:
Yet perhaps most damning is the revelation that no toxicology report has been carried out on Leyla Cox because all the country’s machines are broken.
The woman’s family said they could not afford the cost of their own toxicology report and is following her wishes by cremating her body before returning her ashes to the US.
A neighbor — who was cat sitting for Cox while she vacationed — said he found out about her death on Wednesday.
‘She was very friendly with my daughter and really looked out for her,’ the neighbor, Matt Holliday, told via the nypost.
‘She was thrilled to be going to the DR for her birthday. It was going to be a celebration. This is beyond sad.’
The last time that William spoke to his mother was on June 2, just days before she left on her vacation.
‘I called her on a Sunday and wished her a happy birthday,’ he said.
‘I told her I loved her.’
Cox is the seventh known tourist to have died from increasingly appears to be the result of a mysterious illness at a Dominican Republic resort — the latest in a string of disturbingly similar fatalities.
The country’s tourism minister, Francisco Javier García, told the New York Times that the deaths are ‘isolated incidents’ and insisted that the island was safe for tourists.
Dominican authorities have requested the help of the FBI for further toxicology analysis in the deaths, but said that the results could take months to obtain, according to the New York Times.