By Steve Neavling
A rash of American deaths in the Dominican Republican has stirred fears that tourists were being poisoned by alcohol.
But a recent FBI investigation has bolstered Dominican Republic authorities’ findings that the deaths were from natural causes, not foul play.
The FBI conducted toxicology tests for three cases that were initially considered suspicious by family members, and the results ruled out methanol poisoning from alcohol, The Hill reports.
“Toxicology test results to date have been provided by the FBI to Dominican authorities, and family members of the deceased have been informed,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill in a statement. “The results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities. Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time. Methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol was ruled out by the FBI in these cases during the toxicology screening, and it was not the finding in any other cases of U.S. citizen deaths investigated by Dominican authorities.”
Because some of the victims died after drinking alcohol, families became suspicious that the alcohol was poisoned.
The State Department and Dominican Republic have both said the number of American deaths in the country – 13 in 2018 –were not occurring at an unusual rate.