An American couple that vanished in the Caribbean were likely discovered well over a week ago, though their families were desperately searching for answers until Tuesday, when authorities in the Dominican Republic announced that two recently deceased individuals matched the descriptions of Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dominican police told a local news outlet on Tuesday that fisherman had found a car in the ocean along with a decomposed body believed to be Moore. The report stated that a woman had been found in the same area, believed to be the route the couple would have driven to the airport for an early-morning flight on March 27, and remained in the hospital for days before being pronounced dead.
According to CNN, the Dominican Republic National Police Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia said that an unconscious woman was found on March 27, the same day the pair missed their flight back to New York, and that she was hospitalized for eight days before she died. According to the report, the woman they found did not have identification.
On March 31, fishermen reportedly discovered a body that may belong to Moore in the ocean, and also told police they saw a vehicle in the water, which has not yet been recovered due to rough seas.
“We have information on a vehicle at the bottom of the sea near the location where they were last seen. We can’t confirm the characteristics of the vehicle because of rough seas and our divers are having a hard time reaching the depths,” Durán Mejia told CBS News.
Both bodies are still pending identification, and it is unclear why there was an apparent delay in connecting the reports of the missing couple to the the discovery of the unconscious woman and the dead body. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Mount Vernon police said they had not received a missing person’s report, though Moore’s sister said in media interviews that she had reported her brother missing.
And Francesca Figueroa, a friend of Ravenelle and Moore, told CNN that she contacted the U.S. Embassy about her missing friends on March 31, and was told that “no bodies were found, there were no dead bodies reported, no accidents, no one was in jail.”
Police reportedly believe that Moore and Ravenelle died when their car went over the road, and have said there are no signs at this time of foul play.
“She had to die by herself,” Figueroa told CNN. “When one of us could have been there holding her hand.”
[Feature image: Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle/Instagram]