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Butler resident shares story of loss on Dominican Republic vacation

July 17, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

A photo of Michael Moore and Holly Burtner-Moore, center, on the 2008 vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where Michael died.

Michael Moore's blue eyes gleamed against his Hawaiian shirt in excitement about the giant shrimp cocktail he was about to eat at a resort in the Dominican Republic. “Life was good,” said his wife, Holly Burtner-Moore, about that moment she captured on camera. “We were so in love, and everything was perfect. I'd go home with a beautiful picture and a dead body.”

The Butler resident lost her husband April 3, 2008 — the day before they were to return home from their Punta Cana vacation. Burtner-Moore cautioned future travelers to avoid the country in the wake of the 10 U.S. tourists who have died at Dominican Republic resorts — or at the hospital immediately following their stay — during the past year.

For Burtner-Moore, what started out as an all-inclusive, weeklong, tropical island vacation filled with days of warm beaches and poolside cocktails at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa ended in tragedy.

At least three other American tourists recently died of the same cause, Burtner-Moore said.

This is an excerpt — read Thursday’s Butler Eagle for the full article to find out what led to Michael Moore's death in 2008.