VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – Meghan Arnold’s father Chris Palmer was in the Dominican Republic for less than a month in April 2018 when he went to sleep and did not wake up.
Palmer phoned a friend the night of his passing.
“He called her and said ‘I don’t feel good, I feel kind of dizzy. I don’t feel right and my lips kind of feel weird,” Arnold recalls.
Palmer had dual-citizenship in Mexico and the United States and was in the Dominican Republic selling timeshares and teaching scuba-diving when he mysteriously passed.
Arnold sees many parallels in the challenges she faced in the weeks and months following her father’s death and what loved ones of the nine American tourists who have passed in the last year are facing.
“I don’t want to make any assumptions, but I do know something is wrong here,” Arnold said.
Arnold had to make many phone calls and send many emails to officials in the Dominican Republic to even obtain a cause of death. The first death certificate she received was in Spanish. His cause of death is listed as insufficient air, fluid in the lungs and a heart attack.
While officials in the Caribbean country have insisted the causes of death in all the American tourists are natural, Arnold doesn’t buy it.
“For us, the mystery is why are all these cases the same? Why are they all in the same area and why is nobody taking it seriously and doing something about it?” Arnold said.
Soon after Palmer’s passing, Arnold was pressured by the Dominican Republic funeral home to choose to cremate him or embalm him. She said she was told to make the decision quickly or his body would remain abroad.
She chose to have him embalmed so she could confirm his identity and mourn his loss with family and friends in Kansas. She eventually had him cremated.
Fourteen months later, it’s still unclear what exactly happened to her father.
“I still to this day have not received any autopsy or toxicology report,” Arnold said.
She has not had contact with anyone from the Dominican Republic since receiving the death certificate. After that, she says all calls and emails ceased response.
For now, Arnold plans to continue pushing for answers while also emphasizing safety for other Americans travelling to the Dominican Republic that they don’t suffer the same fate.
“How can you deny there’s a problem here? It’s just heartbreaking,” Arnold said.
Arnold is confident in her father’s street-smarts as well as his health. The army veteran eventually planned to move back and be close to Arnold and his granddaughters.