NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A Luling restaurant owner cancelled a long awaited trip to the Dominican Republic because of what he calls the unknown. Ronjae Mott’s best friend died a month after returning from the island nation, and the trip may not have been to blame.
But other tourist deaths there have him concerned.
"We were scheduled to go July 26 through August 1. That bet is off. We are not going," he said.
He booked his flight in April and cancelled on Monday. News coverage of at least nine deaths of tourist in the Dominican Republic caught Mott off guard. Several American tourists died in the Dominican Republic, the latest was New Jersey man Joseph Allen who was found dead in his hotel room.
“And then my good friend Susan returned from her honeymoon and unfortunately she passed on Tuesday.”
Susan Simoneaux was married May 11 at the Jae Flem Cafe. She and her new husband Keith Williams danced and celebrated.
"She was the happiest bride I ever worked with, and we became best friends," RonJae said.
The couple went on their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic after their wedding.
Mott says after she returned a few days later she was feeling bad and wound up in the hospital and died Tuesday, almost a month after her wedding. Mott says she had pulmonary issues. Doctors told her family the death may not have been because of anything in the Dominican Republic.
"Doctors did say they weren't certain, so Mr. Keith requested she have an autopsy done so they can have some closure," Mott said.
Peter Oubre dines at Jae Flem, and an upcoming upcoming trip for him to the Dominican Republic is still on.
"I don't know if it's true. We hearing a lot of fishy stories not sure."
Susan Simoneaux had the time of her life at her wedding and honeymoon. Now an autopsy hopefully will bring answers to why she died and if it had anything to do with the island paradise.