FBI Finds Dominican Republic Tourists' Died of 'Natural Causes,' Clears Holy Ship Wrecked's New Island as Safe

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The State Department says FBI toxicology reports on the mysterious deaths of U.S. tourists in the Dominican Republic showed no evidence inconsistent with the island nation’s findings of natural causes.

The department says “the results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities.” The department says that families have been informed of the results.

The first deaths to make headlines were in May, when a couple seemingly died at the same time in the same hotel room.

The Dominican Republic’s tourism minister said in June that the deaths were not part of any mysterious series of fatalities but were a statistically normal phenomenon being lumped together by the U.S. media.

The official report is good news for dance music fans who plan to attend Holy Ship Wrecked in 2020, as the beloved festival pivots this year from a cruise ship location to the Caribbean island's Hard Rock Punta Cana resort.

These findings echo the words of the Dominican Republic’s tourism minister, and those of the organizers behind Holy Ship, including Kelly Viau, director of Business Development for Cloud 9 Adventures.

"Having visited the Dominican Republic dozens of times over the last decade, hosted events for thousands of people, and paved relationships with local friends and colleagues," Viau tells Billboard, "we stand by the wonderful people of the Dominican Republic and hope the media will give them the courtesy of clearing up the misconceptions that were spread earlier this year. We look forward to hosting incredible events at Hard Rock Punta Cana which are sure to be next-level experiences for artists and music fans alike at this world class all-inclusive resort."

Holy Ship Wrecked 2020 comes to the Dominican Republic Wednesday to Sunday, Jan. 22 to 26. Headliners include Diplo, Ladeon, Claude VonStroke, Lane 8, Nghtmre & Slander, and more. Tickets are on sale now.


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