'I Believe These People Were Poisoned. I Would've Been Poisoned Had I Not Held It In My Mouth... It Took Effect Really Fast.'


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn woman is claiming she vomited blood after drinking a beverage from her hotel room’s mini bar in the Dominican Republic.

She says it was at the same resort where three American tourists died last month, reports CBS2’s Reena Roy.

Awilda Montes believes her 7UP bottle was actually filled with bleach when she was on vacation.

She initially thought it might’ve been some kind of accident or mix up, but now with the recent news of three people dying at the same resort, this could be something criminal

Mysterious Deaths In The Dominican Republic

It was supposed to be a romantic getaway with her boyfriend at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Resort last October.

Just a few hours into Montes’ vacation she was rushed to the hospital.

“You finally get those days off you look forward to and something like this will happen?” said Montes. “You just don’t expect this.”

She says it all started when she opened a bottle of 7UP from her hotel room’s mini bar. She noticed it didn’t have fizz and assumed it was simply flat, but quickly tasted what she believed was bleach.

“I was cautious when I took a gulp of it,” said Montes. “I immediately felt it burn me, burn my mouth, burn my tongue.

“My mouth was on fire,” she said. “When I spit it out in bathroom sink it was blood. I was just irrigating my mouth.”

The hotel staff brought her to a local clinic where doctors treated her for the pain and vomiting.

Montes says the resort apologized, offering upscale dinner reservations and a couples’ massage.

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Resort (credit: CBS2)

The resort is where three American tourists were found dead last month: 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner collapsed and died after also drinking a beverage from the mini bar, according to her family.

Five days later, a Maryland couple were found unresponsive in their room at a sister hotel in the same resort. They showed no signs of violence, and relatives say they were healthy.

“At the time I didn’t think it was done deliberately,” Montes said about her experience. “Until I saw the news and realized there has to be some kind of correlation with what happened to me and what happened to them.

“I believe these people were poisoned,” she said. “I would’ve been poisoned had I not held it in my mouth and spit it (out) because it took effect really fast.”

In a statement, the resort claims Miranda Schaup-Werner died of a heart attack. A family spokesman says she was treated for a heart issue years ago but was recently in good health.

“We don’t have any answers of what happened down there,” said neighbor Mike Saraceni.

The FBI confirms it is investigating the sudden deaths. Preliminary autopsies indicate all three had the same cause: fluid in the lungs and respiratory failure.

Resort officials tell CBS News the deaths are unrelated. CBS2 has reached out to them for information in Montes’ case and are waiting to hear back.

Comments (17)
  1. Do not go to the Dominican Republic, instead go to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

  2. Bill Loyal says:

    This is why you do not travel anymore. Vacations are not “fun” anymore they are work, and now they are deadly. We have more than enough to see in our country, no need to visit other 3rd world hell holes

  3. Eric Bradway says:

    Go to The US Virgin Islands Instead The have The Sand The Beach nd The Natives and Regulated Food and Drink supply . Dont risk your life going outside of USA Controlled areas or you could wake up Dead . Plus Middle Easterners want to kill you and they have taken over Europe and just about everywhere else outside of the USA

  4. Jim Williams says:

    I’ll bet in retrospect she wishes she had instantly spit it out on the hotel carpeting instead of being nice about it and racing for the bathroom sink.

  5. muneshadowe says:

    America the Beautiful, remember that the next time you vacation.

  6. Their are many safe vacation spots in America, like the water and beaches go to the East, Gulf or West Coast or Hawaii. Stay home, let the third world sewers drown in their own waste. Vacation here, the drinks cost more as do the hookers but, you won’t get murdered!

  7. Why would anyone want to travel to an Island where you can’t leave the resort? There are better safer places than the DR. State Department two years ago reported 33 murders of tourists in the DR. Next, find a better place to vacation and get out alive. In St. Martin, my wife drives around day and night with no fear.

  8. IF ONlY TOURIST are getting sick….. it would appear that a serial killer is at work by spiking drinks, maybe meals….etc.

  9. Big Mama says:

    They have a serial killer on their hands..an anti American killer

  10. Jack Inmanz says:

    This could be the perfect crime. Bleach and 7-up taste the same.

  11. Counterfeit and illicit alcohol at ‘all-inclusive’ resorts are always a potential risk. Premium liquor is expensive and without diligent enforcement and testing consumers could be at risk.

    1. Eugene G. Kelly says:

      Most likely, cheap booze which has been adulterated with wood (methyl) alcohol. Mexico has has several cases of US tourists poisoned by bad alcohol. I would not go to any Caribbean island except for the Dutch islands-DR is very dangerous.

  12. Arfy Warfy says:

    The Dominican Republic is no longer a safe country to go to. Safety Rating is at about 54%… and dropping fast. There are better places to go to instead of 3rd world h3llholes that have a few nice beaches and few fancy hotels. Stop going to places where they hate Americans.

  13. Warrior of GOD says:

    Wake up America…Stop vacationing at these spots! Prayers for those lost….

  14. Arfy Warfy says:

    When you visit a third world country, this is what you can run into.

  15. John Segale says:

    This is why you don’t visit s***hole countries.

    1. mnwild1961 says:

      John, you are absolutely right.

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