The grieving friends and family of two Americans whose brief vacation to the Dominican Republic ended in tragedy are not all convinced that Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were victims of a simple car accident.
According to WPIX, some of the pair’s loved ones suspect the car wreck said to have killed both Ravenelle and Moore — whose death is still unconfirmed, pending the identification of a decomposed body found in the ocean — may have been caused by local bandits.
From the WPIX report:
“While Dominican officials call the couple’s deaths a tragic accident, not all of their friends and family are convinced this is the case.
Ravenelle was said to be frightened about traveling at night on roads that are sometimes filled with bandits preying on tourists, robbers who are known to set traps in the road to cause car trouble or accidents.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a woman who befriended Moore and Ravenelle at the resort in Samana told CNN that Ravenelle was worried about the 100-mile drive to the airport on March 27 to catch a 2 a.m. flight back to the U.S. According to the friend, Ravenelle had underestimated the distance from the resort to the airport when she and Moore booked their trip, and had been warned by the rental car company about local muggers along the route.
Authorities in the Dominican Republic have said that Ravenelle was found, severely injured but alive, on the seaside road on March 27 and was hospitalized for eight days before she died. She reportedly did not have identification when she was discovered, but the mayor of Mount Vernon, New York, where Ravenelle lived, has publicly questioned why more was not done to identify Ravenelle and connect the deceased woman with reports of the missing tourists.
According to the WPIX report, Moore was traveling in the Caribbean on a Jamaican passport, which reportedly complicates the process of returning his body to the United States. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help Moore’s family with the transportation and funeral costs.
[Feature image: Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle/Instagram]