Another American Tourist has died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
53-year-old, Leyla Cox of Staten Island had traveled to the popular tourist destination, Excellence Resort in Punta Cana on Wednesday, June 5 for her birthday and didn’t return.
According to NBCNews.com, her son William Cox said he last spoke to his mother on June 2, just a few days before she set off on her birthday vacation.
“I called her on a Sunday and wished her a happy birthday,” William said, “I told her I love her.”
William said this was his mother’s second trip to the Dominican Republic and even though family members warned her not to go, his mother was confident enough to go there on a solo vacation.
Cox’s birthday was June 9th, and according to Dominican Republic officials, she passed away on June 10th.
Her body has not been sent back to the family, and her family claims officials in the Dominican Republic are not being completely forthcoming with information.
“The Dominican Republic has put every roadblock in my way to prevent me from finding the answers that I need to sleep at night,” Will Cox said. “It keeps me up at night knowing that my mother’s remains belongs to a foreign country.”
Cox said that a representative for the U.S. Embassy told him that a toxicology test would not be conducted on his mother’s body due to broken machines, an excuse that seems to add to the family’s frustration.
“She was at no risk for a heart attack and I truly believe in some way, shape or form, the Dominican Republic is responsible for my mother’s death,” he said. “If she would’ve went anywhere else in the world, she’d be alive today. “
William Cox is currently waiting on his mother’s remains to be transferred from the hospital to Blandino Funeral home in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
He added that his mother wished to be cremated, and understands that cremation will eliminate the opportunity to perform a toxicology report.
Once her ashes are returned to the family, the family will carry out her wishes. “Her ultimate wish was to have her ashes spread in the Florida Keys,” he said.