Dominican officials allegedly pressured tourist’s widow to cremate his body
A Maryland woman claims officials in the Dominican Republic repeatedly urged her to cremate her husband following his sudden death at a resort.
David Harrison died in July 2018 during a trip to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana with his wife Dawn McCoy and their 12-year-old son David Jr.
McCoy was trying to figure out how to get her husband’s body back to the US when officials pressured her to cremate him.
“They kept trying to get me to cremate my husband. They kept telling me that it would be considerably cheaper to cremate him,” McCoy told People Magazine, without elaborating specifically who made the request. “I want to say they asked me probably three or four times before they sent him home. I was like, ‘No, no, no. Send him home. I want to make sure it’s him that’s coming home.’”
Upon checking out of the resort, McCoy said she was hit with numerous medical bills, including from the hotel doctor, ambulance, hospital and funeral home.
“The hotel asked me to call them when I was on my way out and that they would meet me personally, so I called them and told them that we were getting ready to check out,” she said. “They pulled me aside and handed me a doctor bill.”
Harrison started to feel sick a few days into the family trip and complained of an upset stomach. He woke up in a full body sweat on July 14 and couldn’t speak — and McCoy remembers a pungent smell emanating from his pores. Hours later, he was dead.
His cause of death was ruled as pulmonary edema and a heart attack — but McCoy is second guessing that explanation in light of the disturbing trend of tourist deaths in the DR.
Law enforcement sources told The Post that bootleg liquor could be to blame.
Meanwhile, Will Cox, whose mother Leyla Cox died last week at the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana said he, too, was pressured to either immediately cremate or embalm her.
“The Dominicans said that I had to sign papers giving them permission to take her to a funeral home, and if I didn’t do that in four hours, they were going to consider her a ‘Jane Doe,’” Cox told Fox News. “They said I had to give them permission to cremate her or embalm her, or I would never get my mother back.”
He added, “If they classified my mother as a Jane Doe, they told me I would be forfeiting the body. I will never receive a death certificate. I will never receive my mother’s remains.”
An autopsy was performed, but “they will not tell me what it says,” he said.
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