Staten Island woman celebrating birthday died in Dominican Republic after son begged her to stay home
By THERESA BRAINE| Courtesy of NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |JUN 13, 2019 | 11:50 PM
The son of a Staten Island mom who died while she visited the Dominican Republic to celebrate her birthday says he begged her not to go.
Leyla Cox turned 53 on Sunday. She died Monday of an apparent heart attack, Dominican authorities told her devastated and shocked family.
William Cox, her 25-year-old son, told the Staten Island Advance that his mother left for the Dominican Republic on June 5 and was supposed to come home June 12.
“I am overwhelmed and confused and in shock,” he told the Advance on Thursday. “My family wanted her to not go on this vacation. I truly believe if my mother was not in the Dominican Republic, she would have been alive right now.”
Friends are equally blindsided that the woman who went on vacation happy and healthy is now no more.
“We got the call from her sister/son that she apparently had a heart attack and passed away in the Dominican Republic ????” posted a colleague, Peggy McGinley Reilly, on Facebook. “Hopefully this will be investigated.”
Cox’s death is yet another in a string of deaths of American tourists in the island nation.
The Dominican Republic has called them isolated incidents, but they are adding up.
Most recently, on Tuesday 40-year-old Surely Miller vanished from a beach in the coastal town of Cabarete in Puerto Plata province. She was apparently dragged out to sea in a rip tide.Pennsylvania yoga instructor dies in Dominican Republic resort town, latest in spate of tourist deaths »
Among the others to die were Miranda Schaupp-Werner, 41, of Pennsylvania, and a Maryland couple, Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49. They all died within five days in May in the same Bahia Principe resort complex.
Several other visitors to the island have died as well, often after drinking from their resort’s minibar.Mystery in paradise: Suspicious deaths in Dominican resorts lead American travelers to cancel their trips »
Relatives of deceased visitors to the island wonder what really happened to their loved ones.
Back in April the brother of “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran died of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.Real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran says her brother died in Dominican Republic hotel »
The FBI is assisting in toxicology analysis, but that may not help the Cox family, who told the Advance that they cannot afford to have her remains tested. They will be cremated and sent back home for burial, William Cox told the newspaper.
“I have a right to be suspicious,” Cox said.
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