In 2016, Barbara Diane Maser-Mitchell, a Cambria County woman traveled to the Dominican Republic with friends and family. She never returned home.
Terry Mackey, a close friend of Mitchell, says they were all having a good time until things changed one morning.
“When we knocked on her door for breakfast, she said she wasn’t feeling well.” A few hours later..”She didn’t look well at all. She was clowny, not feeling well at all, so we got the doctor in.”
Mitchell was rushed to the hospital, where she later died. Her death, said to be because of a heart attack. Since Mitchell’s death ten more tourists have died in the Dominican Republic, leaving Mackey skeptical.
“I’m not a doctor, but I didn’t see any symptoms consistent with that.”
One thing common across the board for all 11 deaths is alcohol.
“Given the commonalities that it was tainted alcohol, one thing that everyone noticed was that the alcohol really didn’t taste like the labels and we just assumed it was watered down.”
With so many skeptical about the deaths, Mackey is speaking out.
“I hope it’s being thoroughly investigated, but I’m concerned that it might be being brushed under the rug in a misguided attempt to protect the tourist industry.”