Skip to main content

Father dies after getting COVID-19 while on trip to Guatemala

César Cruz came down with a severe case of COVID-19 while visiting family.
Cesar Cruz

César Cruz.

The St. Paul father-of-three stricken with a severe case of COVID-19 while visiting family in Guatemala has died.

An update on the CaringBridge page for César Cruz says he died Monday night, and that he will be buried next to his late father in a ceremony in his hometown on Tuesday.

"It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of César's passing last night. The pain is great and our hearts are broken. We are trying to come to grips with the fact that he won't be here for all of our future family celebrations," the update says.

His family had been trying to bring him back to Minnesota via an air ambulance, and had raised almost $40,000 through a Go Fund Me campaign.

He had been intubated and listed as being in a critical condition at a hospital in Antigua, having taken the trip to visit family in Guatemala for Easter, seeing them for the first time in several years.

He fell ill just days before he was scheduled to return to Minnesota, with his condition rapidly worsening. 

Family told WCCO that Cruz hadn't been vaccinated for COVID-19.

His wife, Tammy Krause Cruz, said on Caring Bridge that she will be offering everyone who contributed to the air ambulance the chance to call back their gift. Otherwise the donations will go towards his funeral, a trip for his family to visit his grave, and college funds for his children.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 7.29.00 AM

Woman killed in Michigan in 1994 finally identified as missing Minnesotan

Shelley Rae Kephart went missing from Hennepin County more than 28 years ago.

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


Marny Xiong

Chairwoman of St. Paul school board in critical condition with COVID-19

Her father is also in intensive care with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

George Floyd protest

Health officials encourage protesters to get tested for COVID-19

There are 215 COVID-19 testing locations in Minnesota.

Cesar Cruz

Attempts to bring COVID-stricken Minnesota man home from Guatemala

He was diagnosed with COVID-19 just before he was set to return home to Minnesota.


Prison inmate dies 19 days after testing positive for COVID-19

It's the first prison death due to COVID-19 in Minnesota.

MCF Moose Lake

Inmate dies at Moose Lake prison, believed not from COVID-19

There are eight confirmed cases of coronavirus at MCF-Moose Lake.

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 8.14.32 AM

Winter carnival queen shares video about her COVID-19 experience

Not everyone with COVID-19 will experience the same symptoms.

Dr. Albasha

Twin Cities doctor dies from COVID-19

An online fundraiser aims to help return his body to Tanzania for burial.