In the wake of three recent deaths at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, another American has come forward with reports of being sickened at the resort.
On June 7, Brooklyn woman Awilda Montes, 43, shared her story with the New York Daily News. Montes told the News that she stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in October 2018, and originally thought that the incident that left her vomiting blood was caused by a mistake, but news of deaths in the hotel has her shaken up.
Montes Claims a Soda in Her Room Was Tainted with Bleach
“I honestly never imagined that somebody was trying to purposely do that until now, until watching the three deaths,” she told The News. “Now I’m thinking had (the hotel) investigated this mystery, they would be alive.” Montes recalled that she and her boyfriend had a few drinks at the bar before going up to their room. Feeling thirsty, she took a soda from the minibar.
“I noticed there was no fizz in it but I just figured it was Dominican soda, it was kind of flat. So I took a swig …. and luckily I kind of held it in my mouth a bit and I felt it burn. I swallowed a bit … (then) ran into the bathroom and spit in the sink,” Montes said.
She went on to say that when she spat into the sink, she saw blood and told her boyfriend that she thought there may have been bleach in the soda. “I told him, ‘I think this is bleach. And he smelled the bottle and he said, ‘It is’,” she recalled.
Montes and her boyfriend reported the incident to the front desk, and she was taken to a nearby clinic. A medical report provided to the New York Daily News stated that Montes suffered from, “a pain in the dorsal and lateral region of the tongue, accompanied with vomiting … with a frequency of two occasions following the (ingestion) of a liquid approximately thirty minutes ago.” She told the News that she still lacks sensation in her tongue and could eat nothing but ice chips the day after the incident.
Montes also claims that the hotel offered her free dinner and a couples massage on the house in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement, an offer which she refused.
Some Say Montes Report Mirrors a Recent Death at the Bahia Principe
Montes’ account bears an eerie resemblance to a recent death at the Dominican Republic resort. Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, died suddenly on May 25 while staying at the same hotel at Montes. Family members say that she was talking to her husband in her room, drank something from the minibar, then suddenly became seriously ill. “At one point, she was sitting there happily smiling and taking pictures, and the next moment she was in acute pain and called out for Dan and she collapsed,” her brother-in-law Jay McDonald told WFMZ.
The resort, however, has issued a statement indicating that Schaup-Werner’s death was caused by a heart attack. “According to statements from the National Institute of Forensic Sciences and the National Police Investigations Unit, Mrs. Schaup-Werner’s cause of death was determined to be a heart attack, aligning with official statements provided by Mr. Werner, who confirmed she had a history of heart conditions.”
The statement went on to say that she had an enlarged heart and “atherosclerosis with stenosis of right coronary ostium in the left ventricular wall, pulmonary edema and respiratory failure as a terminal mechanism of death.” Her sternum was fractured from attempts at resuscitation.
The resort has publicly denied any connection between the deaths on their properties, and has discouraged speculation about the incidents. “We disapprove of any speculation and conjecture on the possible causes of death and urge all to respect the families while the investigation is ongoing,” they wrote in a statement.
“At Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, providing a safe and welcoming environment for travelers stands at the heart of our company values,” they concluded.