United States media are reporting that the Dominican Republic resort where a Delaware woman claimed she was brutally beaten and left for dead in January has said she demanded a US$2.2 million “compensation agreement” before going public with her story months later.
At the same time, the media reports have revealed that law enforcement authorities have also raised doubts about Tammy Lawrence-Daley’s account. The woman and her husband, Chris Daley, have been publicly critical over the lack of law enforcement response, but police spokesman Colonel Frank Durán said authorities were quick to get involved and continue to investigate, the New York Daily News reported this week.
“There is a lot of conjecture about the case, a lot of information that doesn’t match some of the statements,” the Daily News quotes Durán. “We have to wait for the investigation to end.”
He did not clarify which aspects of Lawrence-Daley’s account are at odds with the information they’ve uncovered, the newspaper said.
Colonel Durán said that immediately after authorities heard of the attack, investigators went to the hospital where 51-year-old Lawrence-Daley was being treated, took her testimony and collected evidence from where she said the assault took place.
Initially, the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana said in a statement it was cooperating with authorities and would not comment further out of respect for the “dignity and integrity” of Lawrence-Daley.
But this week the hotel noted in a statement on its Twitter account that Lawrence-Daley is “a professional in the insurance industry” and that she refused to file a police report after the incident “despite the recommendations of the local authorities”.
Lawrence-Daley posted last week on Facebook about the attack in the thriving Dominican tourist area of Punta Cana, showing grisly pictures of damage to her face. She said she had been vacationing with her husband and a couple of friends.
She said that during the assault in a maintenance area of the beachfront resort, her mouth was ripped apart, requiring numerous stitches. One tooth was knocked out and others were pushed out of position. Her nose was broken in several places and she sustained an orbital fracture. There were teeth marks on her hip.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, the mother of two teenage boys said she decided to go public with her story now to help other women and perhaps warn Caribbean tourists about what to expect from resort management in the wake of a similar attack on their properties.
She said that on her second night at the hotel, she walked alone through a rotunda on the property at about 10:30 pm intending to take some pictures of the moon over the water and perhaps grab a snack. She said she was attacked from behind, her assailant started to choke her before dragging her into a nearby maintenance room.
“The only opportunity I got to turn was when he was strangling me. And that’s when I saw the uniform. And when I tried to look up I couldn’t just because I was passing out at that point,” she said in a phone interview.
She said any conscious moments that followed she was unable to make out the assailant’s face because she had already been so savagely beaten that her eyes were swollen shut. But she’s positive that her attacker was wearing a uniform with the resort’s name embroidered on it. “He was definitely wearing a uniform of the resort,” she said.
— New York Daily News and The Associated Press