The official confirmed the death in response to questions from CNN about media reports regarding the man, whose family said he suddenly became ill and died last Monday.
Caruso’s sister-in-law, Lisa Maria Caruso, told News 12 Long Island that Vittorio Caruso died after suffering respiratory distress and possibly a heart attack while on vacation.
The family received a phone call saying Caruso was sick, she said. Minutes later, they received a second call telling them he had died, the station reported.
According to Lisa Maria Caruso, her brother-in-law was enjoying part of his retirement in the Dominican Republic after he sold a Glen Cove pizza shop he’d owned with his brother for the past 12 years, News 12 Long Island reported.
CNN has reached out to Caruso’s family for comment.
The Dominican Republic National Police confirmed to CNN that Caruso died at a hospital in Santo Domingo. According to police, he’d been receiving medical attention since June 11.
He died of respiratory failure, police said, citing the physician. An autopsy is pending.
CNN has previously reported that the deaths could potentially be related to alcohol. The FBI is helping local authorities with toxicology tests in at least three of the recent deaths.