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American tourists who vanished on Caribbean vacation feared driving rental car to airport; police say family never filed report

The American couple missing two weeks after they were expected to return from a Caribbean vacation had underestimated the distance from the resort to the airport, according to a couple who befriended them on their trip to the Dominican Republic.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Orlando Moore and his girlfriend Portia Ravenelle of Mount Vernon, New York, were slated to fly from from the Dominican Republic on March 27, but never made their flight or returned their rental car. Their car is reportedly still in the parking garage at Newark airport.

Cheryl Freeman and Carter Washington, a Canadian couple who socialized with Moore and Ravenelle — and who were likely among the last to see them before they disappeared — told CNN that Ravenelle seemed nervous about an early-morning drive to the airport, which she said was 100 miles from Samana, which the couple hadn’t realized when they book their vacation.

Freeman said that the missing couple had a 2 a.m. flight on March 27, and Ravenelle told her that the rental company had warned she and Moore not to stop for anyone on the drive to the airport, as local muggers can reportedly spot rental cars likely driven by tourists.

The Canadian woman told CNN that Ravenelle asked Moore to make sure there was enough gas in the car that they wouldn’t have to stop, and checked that their phones were charged and the GPS was working in the hours before their departure.

On their last night at the resort, the foursome reportedly shared a bottle of rum at a disco, and Moore and Ravenelle left sometime between 9 and 10 p.m. to pack and check out.

“They invited us to come see them in New York and we invited them to Nova Scotia for later in summer,” said Freeman told CNN. An email her boyfriend sent to the couple to make sure they got off safely was not returned.

Moore’s sister Lashay Turner told NBC News earlier this week that she had filed a police report about her brother’s disappearance, but a Mount Vernon police source told CNN that the department had not received a report about Moore’s disappearance.

According to CNN, authorities in the Dominican Republic are investigating the disappearance, but have declined to share any details about the investigation.

 

 

[Feature image: Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle/Instagram]