53-Year-Old American Woman Found Dead in Hotel Room While on Vacation in Dominican Republic

A son is desperate for answers after his mother mysteriously died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

Leyla Cox of Staten Island had traveled to the popular tourist destination on Wednesday, June 5 for her birthday and never returned, SILive.com reported.

Her son William Cox said he last spoke to his mother on June 2, just a few days before she set off.

“I called her on a Sunday and wished her a happy birthday,” William told SILive.com. “I told her I love her.”

The trip was Leyla’s second time visiting the island and as she prepared for her solo adventure, William said he and his family warned her not to go.

“My family wanted her to not go on this vacation,” William explained to SILive.com. “I truly believe if my mother was not in the Dominican Republic, she would have been alive right now.”

“With everything going on in the news right now, we think she’s a casualty of what’s been happening,” he said.

Leyla was found dead at 53 in her hotel room and according to William, the U.S. Embassy officials explained her death had been ruled as a heart attack, SILive.com reported.

“I am overwhelmed and confused and in shock,” William told the outlet. “Her birthday was on June 9 and she passed away on June 10.”

Leyla was supposed to return home on June 12.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Robyn Merrett