American tourist dies in the Dominican Republic

U.S. State Department officials confirm that Mark Hurlbut is the 10th American to die in the Caribbean country under mysterious circumstances in the past year.
2:05 | 06/22/19

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Transcript for American tourist dies in the Dominican Republic
officials in the Dominican Republic downplaying the reports of recent tourist deaths in the country. The tourism minister insisting it is safe to visit there. ABC's erielle reshef joining us with more. Erielle, good morning. Reporter: Good morning to you, whit. The FBI tells ABC news it has a small team on the ground in the Dominican Republic assisting with the investigation into those American fatalities on the island. It comes as another grieving American family raises new questions about just how their loved one died. This morning, another American family searching for answers after this seemingly healthy father suddenly died in the Dominican Republic. We still don't have answers. Reporter: State department officials confirming this man in Arizona is the tenth American to pass away while visiting different resorts across the island in the last year. His family telling our Dallas station he complained to his wife he felt sick the night before he died last June. Local officials determining the cause of death was a heart attack, but his family says he didn't have any heart issues. Today the Dr's minister of tourism pushing back on reports saying there are no mysterious deaths adding the fatality rate is actually lower than some previous years among the 3 million Americans who visit. Also saying what some media have characterized as an avalanche of deaths does not correspond with the reality that we are seeing today. As the FBI assists local authorities with toxicology reports, mounting frustration among grieving loved ones. Canoeing together. Reporter: The attorney for the family of Cynthia day and Nathaniel Holmes who were recently found dead in their hotel room telling ABC news we will let the facts and medical reports tell the story. And the U.S. State department says there has not been an uptick in fatal incidents of Americans in the Dominican Republic. A spokesperson saying the overwhelming majority of Americans who traveled to the island last year did so without Dominican officials urging everyone including those tourists heading to the country not to rush to judgment until these investigations unfold. Whatever is going on it's a wrenching time for those families. Absolutely. Erielle, thanks very much.

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