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John Corcoran, the brother of “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran, died in the Dominican Republican last year, a fact that has some wondering if his death could be related to the recent string of troubling tourist deaths in that country.
A representative for Barbara Corcoran confirmed the 64-year-old’s death to NBC News, according to Today.
John, the retired owner of a roofing company based in New Jersey, traveled to the country with a friend in April for an annual vacation, Barbara told TMZ. That friend later found John dead in their suite, and Barbara reports that she was told that he died of a heart attack, although no autopsy was performed, she told the outlet.
John Corcoran’s death has made headlines amid news that world health officials are investigating numerous hotels in the Dominican Republic after the deaths of several American tourists during stays in the country. However, Corcoran's family reports that his death is not related to the other incidents.
“My father had a heart condition,” his daughter, Nichole Lande, told People. “So his death didn’t come as a complete shock to us. Obviously, we didn’t expect him to die, and we are devastated. But it’s just a coincidence that it happened in the Dominican Republic like those other deaths.”
A number of American tourists have died after having drinks from the mini bars of their hotels in the Dominican Republic. Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died in April after drinking scotch from the mini bar in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, the New York Post reports. His niece told Fox News that he got sick almost immediately after having the drink, with blood showing up in his urine and stool.
Another tourist, 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner, died just last month after drinking from the mini bar at her hotel, according to the New York Post. Other tourists have also died under what their families call mysterious circumstance; one Colorado couple has even filed a lawsuit claiming that their hotel in the Dominican Republic poisoned them by improperly spraying insecticide too near to an air conditioner.
While hotel owners and national officials have claimed that the incidents are unrelated and the country is safe, the apparent string of untimely deaths were enough cause for the FBI to launch an investigation, according to Fox News.
But John Corcoran’s daughter told People that she does not believe her father’s death is a similar case to the passing of other American tourists. He and his friend were staying at a “private home” that had no mini bar or “malfunctioning” air conditioning units, she told People.
“So this isn’t a mystery to us,” she said, adding, “It’s just the sad loss of a father and grandfather who everyone is missing right now. He was a loving, wonderful man from a big family, and lots of people are mourning his loss.”
Barbara Corcoran was one of 10 siblings, and she referred to John as her “favorite brother,” according to TMZ.
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