'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran 'overwhelmed with sadness' after brother dies in Dominican Republic

Joshua Jongsma

The brother of "Shark Tank" star Barbara Corcoran died in the Dominican Republic in April, with news reports trying to link his death with other recent deaths in the country. 

However, Corcoran says her brother, John Corcoran, who is from New Jersey, had an existing heart condition, and she believes he died of natural causes. 

In an Instagram post Thursday, Corcoran wrote: "It’s made it to the news by now that my dear brother John passed away in the Dominican Republic back in April. He loved the DR and vacationed there frequently. My brother had an existing heart condition and we believe he died of natural causes, but you’re still never ready for the death of a loved one."

Corcoran went on to express heartbreak over her brother's death and the others who have recently died in the Dominican Republic: "I’m overwhelmed with sadness for the lost lives in the DR and my thoughts are with the families who have lost their loved ones. Thank you for all your thoughts and good wishes. I appreciate your love and kindness."

A representative for Corcoran reiterated that John's death was unlike the other cases. 

"He was not staying at a hotel and had an existing heart condition. John loved and frequently visited the Dominican," Emily Burke told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.

John owned a roofing and siding company in Edgewater, reports NorthJersey.com, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.

About a month after Corcoran's death, a Maryland couple was found dead in their hotel room in the Dominican Republic on May 30. Autopsies performed by the Dominican National Institute of Forensic Sciences determined that they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs. Their remains were flown back to the U.S. on Tuesday, the family attorney, Steven Bullock confirmed to USA TODAY.

A 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman died May 25 after drinking from the minibar in her room at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville. 

"At one point, she was sitting there happily smiling and taking pictures and the next moment she was in acute pain and called out for Dan and she collapsed," her brother-in-law told WFMZ.

Additionally, the U.S. State Department confirmed to USA TODAY Monday that another U.S. citizen died in the Dominican Republic in April, but did not provide additional details.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Dominican Republic's tourism minister, Francisco Javier Garcia, said, “All visitors are very important to us. The Ministry’s most important responsibilities are to ensure that the highest industry standards are met so that all tourists are safe when visiting. At the same time, it must also work to provide a definitive answer to the afflicted families." 

Additionally, famed Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz was at a bar in Santo Domingo, the capital of the country, Sunday when he was shot in the back by an attacker on a motorcycle. The 43-year-old was later taken to a local hospital for surgery. 

Ortiz's wife, Tiffany, said in a statement Wednesday that Ortiz was "making good progress towards recovery" at Massachusetts General Hospital, the same same day Dominican Republic police claimed the suspects in the shooting had been hired to shoot the former baseball player.

Contributing: Julia Thompson, Jayme Deerwester, David Oliver and Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY

More: Incidents involving American tourists raise safety concerns about Dominican Republic

This article originally appeared on North Jersey Record: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran 'overwhelmed with sadness' after brother dies in Dominican Republic