Minutes after family and friends celebrated the life of Cynthia Ann Day at a memorial service Monday, the family attorney said there remains unanswered questions in the deaths of both her and fiancé Nathaniel Holmes.
According to officials in the Dominican Republic, the couple died May 30 while vacationing in the country.
“It’s a mystery and we’re going to resolve the mystery,” said attorney Steven Bullock outside First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro. “We plan on waiting for the toxicology reports, the results of the autopsy and from there we’ll be able to make some determination as to exactly what happened and try to resolve this situation.”
Day, 50, and Holmes, 63, are among the 10 people who have died this year in the Caribbean country — eight of whom were American.
However, a spokesman for the foreign ministry told CBS News the tourists’ deaths are the results of isolated incidents. Preliminary autopsy reports of at least five tourists show they died of natural causes such as fluid buildup in the lungs and respiratory failure.
“More than six million visited [the country] and most of them North Americans,” the spokesman, Cesar Duvernay, said Friday. “So we don’t think it’s a good representation. The country is very safe and the best thing they can do is just to lay out the numbers and the facts.”
The FBI will conduct an investigation of the deaths of all the tourists who died while at the resorts of Punta Canta and La Romana. Day and Holmes stayed at Punta Canta.
In regard to Day, a Dominican health official said Wednesday on Fox News that she died “from the shock of seeing the person beside her dead,” a claim vehemently discounted by her family’s lawyers.
“That’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s ludicrous to even make that type of statement,” Bullock said while standing beside fellow attorney Nick Szokoly, who’s also representing the family and a Pennsylvania resident who died in the country. “The family was actually hurt by that. We do not appreciate it, but we’re going to wait. We’re going to get the facts. Once we get the facts, then we’ll share all those facts with everyone.”
In the meantime, family and friends celebrate Day, also known as Cyndi, who graduated from Oxon Hill High School and later attended George Washington University in northwest D.C. to study in the medical profession.
She maintained her career in the health care industry as a patient service specialist with Unity Health Care at Parkside Health Center in Northeast.
Nicole Fowler, a supervisor for Unity Health Care, said Day “will always be remembered as a Parkside warrior.”
The Rev. Jonathan Queen, youth pastor at First Baptist, said Day showed love for everyone, especially for her only child, Jeremiah Yusuf Williams. Day ensured those who cared for her son received a list of directions.
“When I met Jeremiah, he was a 6-foot teenager,” said Queen, who gave the eulogy. “[Day] made sure my wife and I had those instructions.”
Day’s aunt, Diane Williams, summarized her life in a poem: “Cyndi is at peace now resting in the hands of God. Her memories will last a lifetime, deep within our hearts. So try to understand and know that God didn’t promise days without pain, or sunshine without rain. Laughter without sorrow, or happiness for tomorrow. But God did promise strength for the day and life for the way. The comfort for your tears and his everlasting love throughout your years.”