Dominican Republic deaths: Georgia man is 11th American tourist to have mysteriously died since June 2018
The US State Department on Friday, July 12 confirmed that a Georgia man died of a "respiratory illness" in the Dominican Republic last March making him the 11th American citizen to have died in the Caribbean nation since June 2018.
Tracy Jerome Jester Jr., 31, of Forsyth, died in the country on March 17 while he was vacationing there with his sister, according to ABC Philadelphia. He was set to fly back home the next day.
Their mother, Melody Moore, said she had spoken to her son at around 7:40 pm the night before his death and that he told her he had been sightseeing the entire day.
Later that same night, she received another call, this time from her daughter. She was informed that Jester was vomiting blood and couldn't breathe.
She also revealed that her daughter told her the 31-year-old had "dropped to his knees and started throwing up blood and was calling for Mama."
Moore said she was "panicking because I couldn't get to my children" and instructed her daughter to call 911, but that by the time someone responded to the scene to assist, it was already too late. Jester was dead by 4:40 am.
"We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in the Dominican Republic in March 2019," a state department spokesman told ABC. "We offer our sincerest condolences to the family for their loss. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we do not have additional information to provide."
Jester's body was returned home on April 4 with no information besides a death certificate that documented "respiratory issues."
No toxicology report was ordered as he had died before the spate of other deaths caught the media's attention.
His sister revealed he suffered from Lupus, but that is not suspected to be the cause of death.
Moore said she believes her son's death might be connected to the other deaths in the Dominican Republic because he showed symptoms similar to other victims.
She recalled her son mentioning a "nasty" Sprite he had purchased and drunk at his hotel before his death.
She said she told her son that the drink might taste different in another country but that he still felt that there was something odd about it.
It is currently unclear whether Jester was staying at one of the resorts where several tourists like him fell violently ill that were being investigated by officials from the FBI and CDC.
Moore said she had reached out to the FBI but had received no response. "I would like to know the truth," she said.