Police find 2 bodies in search for missing American couple in Dominican Republic
Police in the Dominican Republic may be one step closer to determining what happened to a New York couple that went missing on vacation in the country's northeastern town of Samana.
Authorities have uncovered two bodies that closely resemble Orlando Moore, 43, and Portia Ravenelle, 32, in two separate locations, along with wreckage from a car crash, according to Dominican newspaper Diario Libre. The couple, from Mount Vernon, was supposed to return home on March 27 but never did.
Fishermen found a crashed vehicle on a seabed the day Moore and Ravenelle were expected to fly back to the U.S., police spokesman Col. Frank Felix Durán Mejía told the paper. A hospital in the country's capital said that on the same day, it took in an unidentified woman found on the road who suffered severe trauma and was unresponsive, according to CNN en Español. She died eight days later.
A decomposing body of a male was recovered close to a port in Sans Souci in Santo Domingo on March 31. The body had a tattoo that read "Milano" on his right arm, which matches Moore's description. The body showed signs of being eaten by fish, a forensics expert said, according to Dominican news outlet Informativos TeleAntillas.
Moore and Ravenelle had flown out of Newark Liberty International Airport on March 23. The two had stayed at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa resort but never checked out of the hotel, the New York Post reported earlier.
Family members were unable to reach Moore and Ravenelle because their phones were turned off. Moore's sister, Lashay Turner, then reached out to the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic and filed a police report, according to NBC.
"We've been calling DR and they said they didn't make their flight," Turner told the network at the time. "We also spoke to someone in U.S. Customs, and they said my brother did not make his flight back here."
Police are in the process of confirming the identities of the bodies but believe the couple may have been involved in a car crash on their way to Las Américas International Airport, an airfield near Santo Domingo.
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UPDATE: The New York Post reported that one of the bodies recovered has been confirmed as Portia Ravenelle's.