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31-Year-Old Man Is 13th Person To Die In Dominican Republic After Drinking Soda That 'Didn't Taste Right'

Who Is Tracy Jerome Jester? New Details About 31-Year-Old Man Who Died In Dominican Republic After Drinking Soda That 'Didn't Taste Right'

When we go on vacation, we expect to have an amazing time relaxing, spending time with our family or friends, and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But for individuals vacationing in the Dominican Republic, there has been an onslaught of reports indicating the deaths of tourists. And news outlets have revealed the death of the 13th person to die while vacationing there.

Who is Tracy Jerome Jester? The US State Department confirmed that Jester passed away while in the Dominican Republic on March 17th, as a result of respiratory issues after a day of sightseeing, at least according to his death certificate. 

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According to a spokesperson for the State Department, “We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in the Dominican Republic in March 2019. 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.”

Said Jester’s mom, Melody Moore, she had spoken with her son while he was vacationing and he seemed fine. However, she noted that he drank soda that “didn’t taste right.” And the next day, his sister called Moore to say Jester was having trouble breathing.

"As a mother, you're not there when your son takes his last breath. That hurts and, I mean, you’ve got so many questions. They had a good day. Saturday, they went out, they explored. They said they had a good day. She called me about 3:30 in the morning and she told me he was calling her saying he couldn’t breathe, just saying ‘mama I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’ Being a mom, I want to go to where he was, where he died at last. Something is wrong, my son is gone. Something is really wrong,” Moore said.

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Jester’s sister called police, but he passed away by 4:40 AM. Moore’s daughter said her brother “just dropped to his knees and started throwing up blood.”

Moore also feels strongly that her son’s death is connected to the other tourist deaths, and called the FBI to add his name to the list. She says he didn’t have any health problems before going to the DR, though he did have lupus.

His body was returned home on April 4th, but the family didn’t have a toxicology report performed. This was before the numerous other deaths occurring in the country. However, there is currently no evidence to link Jester’s death to the others.

Francisco Javier Garcia, the Dominican Republic’s Minister for Tourism, maintains that Jester died of natural causes, saying, “The official autopsy confirms the cause of death was basal bilateral pneumonia, which produced a pleural effusion and acute respiratory insufficiency. Mr. Jester’s family confirmed that he had a pathological history of bronchial asthma and Lupus. The autopsy findings support that Mr. Jester’s passing was isolated in occurrence. We extend our sincerest condolences to Mr. Jester’s family.”

In a statement from last month, Garcia revealed, “These cases are very regrettable but isolated. Investigation into them is a top priority for us and for the National Police. We are asking them to deploy all resources to help provide answers as quickly as possible.”

According to CNN, there have been a total of 48 Americans who have died in Dominican Republic between 2016 and 2018. The causes of death include: homicides, suicides, drownings, vehicle deaths, and other accidents.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.