Joseph Allen is the eighth tourist to die in the Dominican Republic this year. According to WABC, Allen was found dead laying on his hotel room floor.
Allen was 55-years-old and from Avenel, New Jersey. He was found dead in his hotel room at Terra Linda in Sosua on the morning of June 13, his sister told ABC.
Allen is the latest to die in a string of mysterious deaths to take place in the Dominican Republic.
Yvette Monique Sport, David Harrison, Robert Wallace, Miranda Schaup-Werner, Leyla Cox and Edward Nathaniel Holmes and his fiancee Cynthia Ann Day are among the others who have passed away in the Dominican Republic this year.
It is unclear how Allen died or if the deaths between the eight tourists are related in any way.
Here’s what you need to know about Allen’s passing:
Allen Told Friends He Wasn’t Feeling 100% Prior to His Death
Allen’s sister, Jamie Reed told ABC via a phone interview that her brother was in the country with friends to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
Reed said that friends told her that Allen “complained about being hot at the pool. He said he was going to his room to take a shower. When his friends came back, he said he wasn’t feeling 100% again, and said he was going to lie down for the night. The next morning his friend said he hadn’t heard from Joe before breakfast, so he knocked on his door and there was no response.”
Friends said Allen then contacted the front desk to ask for a wellness check.
“They found him on the floor,” Reed said. “He had been there for a while. Rigor mortis had set in, and he was cold.”
Allen Was Considered Healthy & Was a Frequent Visitor of the DR
Allen’s sister, Jaime Reed told ABC that her brother was relatively healthy despite his sudden death.
She described her brother as “for the most part healthy” with no pressing health issues.
Allen’s brother, Jason Allen told Essence that his brother just had a physical examination and no red flags appeared.
Allen was known for visiting the Carribean country several times a year. Reed said she didn’t even think about her brother’s trip despite the recent deaths of Americans this year.
“We didn’t think anything of it, because he does this all the time,” she told ABC.
Allen’s Son Was on His Way to the DR to Visit His Father for Father’s Day
Reed also told ABC, that Joseph’s son, Amir Allen, was on his way down to the Dominican Republic to celebrate Father’s Day with his dad. Amir landed and quickly found out the news about his father.
Allen’s family wants his body returned to the United States as soon as possible, so they can pursue funeral plans. According to officials, they have to wait for his body to be embalmed after the autopsy.
Allen’s Family Is Demanding Answers
Allen’s family is just the latest family shocked and confused by a mysterious death in the Dominican Republic. They are demanding answers.
“I just don’t want them to suppress anything, especially with them embalming the body,” Reed told ABC. “We want answers. We’ve reached out to everybody, including Senator (Robert) Menendez to try to get some help from anyone.”
In an email to Essence, Allen’s brother, Jason Allen said his family tried to contact the United States Embassy.
“My family and I are afraid that my brother was a victim of a wrongful death,” Allen wrote. “Being aware of the recent number of mysterious deaths occurring in the Dominican Republic, we immediately attempted to contact the U.S. Embassy…for answers and seeking any help they could offer in getting an investigation started with an autopsy done back in the United States.”
Allen’s Brother, Jason Allen, Thinks the DR Is Covering Something up
Because of the embalming of his brother, Jason Allen thinks there is something fishy going on in the Dominican Republic. His theory stems from the insistence of embalming his brother’s body from the DR prior to it traveling back to the U.S.
“I feel like this is a cover-up and I feel like the less clues you have, the better for them,” Jason Allen told Essence. “I don’t know if you’d be able to get any kind of toxicity or any kind of information regarding exactly what happened once the body has been embalmed. At the very least I feel like it makes it more difficult for the body to tell the story of why my brother died or how my brother died.”
A mother of a friend of Jason’s – who owns a funeral home – told Jason the body doesn’t have to be embalmed prior to traveling. They could have just put the body on dry ice, according to Jason Allen’s claim.