Jerome Jester

Jerome Jester Jr., 31, died on March 17 this year on a short vacation to the Dominican Republic with his sister
A Georgia man has died of a 'respiratory illness' while on holiday in the Dominican Republic - becoming the 13th American to die there in under a year.

Jerome Jester Jr. of Forsyth, Georgia, died on March 17 this year just a day after going sightseeing in the Caribbean nation, according to his family.

The 31-year-old had been on vacation with his sister, who called for an ambulance after he started having difficulty breathing.

Jester's sister told ABC News: 'He just dropped to his knees and started throwing up blood, and was calling for Mama.'

Jester's sister said he was vomiting blood before she called an ambulance and he later died

His mother Melody Moore told WSB-TV-2 she spoke to him the day before he died.

Dominican Republic

The map above shows the deaths of 12 American tourists in the Dominican Republic in the past year
'They had a good day,' Moore told the station.

'Saturday, they went out, they explored. They said they had a good day.'

Moore said he seemed fine on the phone but did mention drinking a soda which didn't taste right.

Jester's death is the latest in a recent spate of fatalities among US tourists visiting the territory.

It is not clear which resort he had been staying in prior to his death.

Since June 2018 12 other Americans have died in a variety of tragic incidents.

Most recently, Vittorio Caruso, 56, of Glen Cove, died on June 17 shortly after he reportedly drank something and became critically ill at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo.

'We found out he was brought by ambulance to the hospital in respiratory distress after drinking something,' Lisa Maria Caruso, Caruso's sister-in-law, said.

We were told he wasn't responding to any meds he was given and died.

Donette Edge Cannon, 38, died four days after arriving to the Sunscape Bávaro Beach Punta Cana on May 14

'I honestly don't know exactly what happened, as we have been told conflicting stories from different people there.

Earlier last month it was learned that a retired police officer from Ohio became the 11th American vacationer to die suddenly in the Dominican Republic.

Jerry Curran, a 78-year-old who had served with the Bedford Police Department for 32 years before becoming a bailiff, died in January while staying at the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana.

Three days after he and wife Janet arrived at the resort on January 22, Curran began vomiting and was unresponsive. He underwent surgery but died hours later, WYKC reports.

'He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back,' said daughter Kellie Brown.

Maryland couple Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were found dead in their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Resort in San Pedro de Macoris.

An autopsy later confirmed they had died of respiratory failure caused by pulmonary edema - fluid on the lungs.

Jester's body was returned home on April 4 but his mother is asking for more details about his death - saying 'I would like to know the truth'.

The state department, however, claims there is no evidence linking Jester's death to the other American fatalities.

'We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in the Dominican Republic in March 2019,' a state department spokesperson told ABC News over the weekend.

'We offer our sincerest condolences to the family for their loss. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we do not have additional information to provide.'

Last month the family of Donette Edge Cannon, 38, from Queens revealed that she died four days after arriving at the Sunscape Bávaro Beach Punta Cana on May 14.

Dominican authorities ruled that her cause of death was kidney failure.

'Their conclusion was renal failure, but it never addressed what initially got her sick in the first place,' her sister, Candace Edge Johnson, said after her death.

The shocked family hadn't initially questioned the resort when Cannon got sick.

'We were so traumatized that we didn't think about these things,' Johnson said. 'I would've pursued the resort more about whether there was food poisoning, and the decisions made about hospitals with dialysis, and just their [lack of] urgency to alert people [for help].'

No evidence suggests that the deaths are linked, U.S. officials say, but the two latest families believe otherwise.

Most of the families of those who have died have shared that they are skeptical of the Dominican officials.

The FBI is now helping to investigate after the mysterious deaths.

Carlos Suero, who works for the Ministry of Public Health in the DR, said that dismissed the speculative reports as 'hysteria', saying they are part of an effort to undermine the island's tourism.

'It's all a hysteria against the Dominican Republic, to hurt our tourism, this is a very competitive industry and we get millions of tourists, we are a popular destination. People are taking aim at us.'

Authorities who are scrambling to get to the bottom of the deaths are investigating whether they were possibly poisoned by bootleg liquor.

Officials in the Dominican Republic have insisted that the deaths are all isolated incidents but most of the victims were apparently healthy adults before their sudden deaths.

Several of them are known to have drank from their hotel room minibars before becoming extremely ill.

The other tourists who have died in the past year include: Joseph Allen, 55, David Harrison, 45, Robert Bell Wallace, 67, Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41; Couple Nathaniel Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49; Yvette Monique Sport, 51 and Leyla Cox, 53.

Three of them have died at the Grand Bahia Príncipe La Romana, two at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana, one at Excellence Resorts in Punta Cana, one at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville and one at the Terra Linda hotel.
TIMELINE: The 13 American tourists who mysteriously died in the Dominican Republic in the last year

June 2018: Yvette Monique Sport, 51, of Glenside, Pennsylvania, dies after drinking from the minibar at at a Bahia Principe hotel in Punta Cana. Family said Sport had the drink, went to sleep and never woke up.

July 2018: David Harrison dies while on vacation at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana to celebrate his wedding anniversary. He woke up struggling to breathe and covered in sweat. He died that same day. He visited the doctor before the trip who'd given him a clean bill of health.

January 2019: Jerry Curran, a 78-year-old who had served with the Bedford Police Department for 32 years, died while staying at the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana.

March 17 2019: Jerome Jester Jr. of Forsyth, Georgia, died just a day after going sightseeing in the Caribbean nation.

April 10, 2019: Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, became ill almost immediately after drinking an alcoholic beverage from his in-room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana. He died in hospital on April 14.

May 14, 2019: Donette Edge Cannon, 38, from Queens died four days after arriving at the Sunscape Bávaro Beach Punta Cana.

May 25, 2019: Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, of Pennsylvannia, dies within hours of consuming a drink from a resort minibar across the island at Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana.

May 25, 2019: Cynthia Day, 49, and Nathaniel Holmes, 63, of Maryland, check into the Bahia Principe Hotel, La Romana. They were found dead in their room on May 30.

June 10, 2019: Leyla Cox, 53, of Staten Island, New York, is found dead in her hotel room. Officials say she died of a heart attack, but her son says he is suspicious.

June 13, 2019: New Jersey man Joseph Allen, 55, is found dead in his hotel room at the Terra Linda hotel in Sosua. He was there to celebrate a friend's birthday.

June 17, 2019: Vittorio Caruso, 56, of Glen Cove, NY died at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo.

June 18, 2019: Louisiana woman Susan Simoneaux, 59, died in New Orleans after being rushed to hospital with fluid on her lungs. Her death came a week after she returned from her Dominican Republic honeymoon.