UPDATED: 11:23 p.m. EDT — Two bodies recently found in the Dominican Republic may be the New York couple that went missing late last month, according to CNN. Orlando Moore and his girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle were vacationing on the Caribbean island nation but never returned home, prompting concern from family.
A woman who fit the description of Ravenelle was found unconscious on the side of a road on March 27, the day their flight was to depart from Santo Domingo. The still-unidentified woman was taken to the hospital, where she died on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the body of a man who fit the description of Moore was found at sea on March 31.
Local authorities were conducting tests to determine their identities, but National Police Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia told CNN officials there “believe the couple’s rental car plunged into the ocean in the early hours of March 27 as they were on their way to catch a flight home.”
The families of Orlando Moore and his girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle, were searching for both New Yorkers who went missing while vacationing in the Dominican Republic late last month.
The couple traveled to the Dominican Republic on March 23 and was scheduled to return home four days later.
National Police spokesman Col. Frank Felix Durán Mejia said investigators met Monday night and were expected to release information about the case, CNN reported. But there was no timetable for when they would discuss the status of the case.
This comes against the backdrop of President Donald Trump weighing in Monday on the white American tourist who was released by her kidnappers in Uganda over the weekend. The president urged the Ugandan government to find her abductors. As of late Tuesday morning, he hadn’t made a public statement about the missing couple.
Investigators said what happened to the couple after they checked out of their hotel in Samana is a mystery. They failed to board their flight back to the United States, and there’s no record of them returning back home.
Moore’s sister, Lashay Turner, said her brother has a daughter and he would never just run off without a trace, according to WNBC-TV.
“I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m saddened, my family is saddened by this and we just want my brother to return safe and alive,” said Turner who contacted the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic before filing a police report when her brother became missing.
Turner recalled that she spoke with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials who confirmed to her that the couple did not get on their return flight. The agency declined to speak publicly on the case, WNBC said. However, the U.S. Department of State said it was working with Dominican Republic authorities to locate the missing couple.
“When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts and share information with families however we can,” the State Department said. “The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to U.S. citizens in need and to their families.”
Meanwhile, the family was sending up prayers for the couple’s safe return.
“When these things happen, you always think of the worst, but we are hoping for the best,” Edith Walters, Moore’s grandmother, said.
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