By Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, mgray@afro.com

Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day were in the midst of living their best life as they were preparing to spend the rest of their lives together while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. However, it came to a premature end when they were found dead in on the day they were expected to checkout of their Caribbean resort.

The Prince George’s County couple was reportedly found unresponsive in their room Thursday, May 30 at Grand Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana, approximately 75 miles east of Santo Domingo, the capital, halfway between another popular location, Punta Cana.

Prince George’s County couple Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day were found dead in their hotel rooms on Thursday, May 30. (Courtesy Photo)

Holmes and Day, who were engaged to be married, reportedly died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs, according to Dominican police. Hotel staffers reportedly did not find any signs of violence.  

The official cause of their death was determined after their bodies were transported to the Dominican National Institute of Forensic Sciences for an exam.  

“We are deeply saddened by the incident at one of our hotels in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends,” Bahia Principe Hotels said in a statement.”

According to the Huffington Post, Dominican Police said they discovered the couple with various bottles of medications used to treat high blood pressure in their room and authorities are still waiting for the results of toxicology tests. Day and Holmes were discovered in a room reportedly by a hotel worker who found them, but it was not reported whether the bottles were empty.

But the Daily Mail, a publication that serves the United Kingdom, reported that Dominican Republic’s National Police learned during their investigation that Holmes had called for a hotel doctor Thursday morning May 30, complaining that he felt ill. However, when the doctor arrived he refused treatment.

By all their personal accounts that were posted on social media, the couple had been enjoying the vacation of a lifetime in paradise.  They looked healthy and relaxed in posted videos and pictures of their excursions on boats and while they were enjoying time at the bar in the resort on Facebook. Holmes’ sister reportedly said she spoke to him before he last posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

“Boat ride of a lifetime!!!” read one of the captions on a post.  Another caption reads: “Can somebody please loan me $250,000 bcuz I don’t want to come home!!!!!”

NBC-4 in Washington, who first broke the story locally, reports the family is questioning the authenticity of the investigation in the Dominican Republic.  Their deaths are considered suspicious in part because Holmes complained of discomfort but supposedly refused treatment.  Carbon monoxide poisoning also has not been ruled out because it could trigger a reaction inside their bodies, which would have had fatal results.  There is no word, however, of whether there were adequate air quality analysis detectors on the property.

They are the second Black American couple to die in the Dominican Republic since March. Orlando Moore, 41, and Portia Ravenelle, 52, were believed by authorities to be en route to the airport to return from their vacation after leaving the same brand property when Moore may have lost control and crashed into the Caribbean Sea.  That couple was from New York and stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa hotel in Samana.

 Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said it’s working with local authorities on the investigation into the deaths, but has issued a warning to those who are planning to travel to the Dominican Republic anytime this summer.