The Georgia man who suddenly passed away during a trip to the Dominican Republic earlier this year died from natural causes, and his death was an “isolated in occurrence,” the country’s tourism minister said this week.
Tracy Jester Jr., 31, of Forsyth, died on March 17, after a day of sightseeing, according to reports. He’d been staying at a resort during his jaunt, but it was unclear which one.
In a Tuesday evening statement, Francisco Javier Garcia, the country’s Minister of Tourism, said that a National Institute of Pathology report indicates that Jester’s cause of death was “basal bilateral pneumonia,” which created a buildup of water between the lungs and the chest, making breathing difficult, Garcia said.
Jester’s family confirmed that he had a history of bronchial asthma and lupus, the minister added.
The findings support that Jester’s death was “isolated in occurrence,” according to Garcia, who extended his “sincerest condolences to Mr. Jester’s family.”
But Jester’s mom, Melody Moore, told local outlet WSB-TV last week that she wanted to do some of her own digging into her son’s death.
“Being a mom, I want to go to where he was, where he died at last,” she said. “Something is wrong, my son is gone. Something is really wrong.”
She said that she spoke with her son during his time away, and he seemed fine. But he did say he drank a soda that didn’t taste right, she recalled.
Early the next day, Jester’s sister frantically called Moore to say that her brother was struggling to breathe.
His distraught sister quickly dialed 911, but to no avail.
The family never ordered a toxicology report because Jester died before the spate of widely reported deaths in the country, Moore told ABC News.
Moore said she reached out to the FBI but has yet to meet with anyone from the agency.
The State Department confirmed Jester’s death earlier this week, noting that no immediate evidence has linked his case to any of the other recent tourist fatalities in the country.