Autopsy: Glen Cove man died of heart attack in Dominican Republic

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GLEN COVE -

Autopsy results for a Long Islander found dead in the Dominican Republic conclude he suffered a heart attack.

Vittorio Caruso, of Glen Cove, died a week ago while on vacation to celebrate his retirement. He is the 10th American to die in the Caribbean nation within the past year.

MORE: Family: Former Glen Cove pizzeria owner dies in the Dominican Republic

Caruso's sister-in-law Lisa told News 12 in an email: "When my brother-in-law left for the Dominican Republic, we fully expected him to return home happy and rested. Instead he will be returning in a body bag."

A reporter from Diario Libre in the Dominican Republic, who saw the autopsy report, says Caruso died from, "Respiratory failure due to acute heart failure, due to multiple acute, old and recent heart attacks."

But Caruso's family says they have not yet seen the autopsy report, telling News 12, "We were told his cause of death on the death certificate is pulmonary edema and heart attack."

The FBI is looking into the rash of deaths in the country to see if any are linked. Dominican Republic officials have said the traveler deaths are isolated events.

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, who represents the Glen Cove area, says he was a frequent visitor of Caruso's restaurant and that he knew the man well. He says he hopes the State Department and the FBI can figure out if anything unusual is happening in the Dominican Republic.

Family members say Caruso did not have any history of heart problems before leaving for the Dominican Republic.

Dodge-Thomas Funeral Home posted on its website a memorial page for Caruso.

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