Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

NY holidaymakers presumed dead in Dominican Republic

Authorities in the Dominican Republic believe a missing couple from Westchester County may have been killed in a crash.

Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were supposed to return to NY from the Dominican Republic on March 27, said Moore's half-sister, Lashay Turner, who said she reported him missing two days later after the couple didn't return.

The body was recovered about 21km (13 miles) from where authorities believe the couple's auto plunged into the Caribbean Sea. She was transported to a local hospital, where she spent six days in the intensive care unit before dying on April 4.

Police found the body of the man believed to be Moore on March 31 in an advanced state of decomposition, about 21 kilometers (13 miles) from where the vehicle was located.

Divers have been unable to make a positive identification of the vehicle due to rough seas, according to Fox8. The couple had arrived in the Dominican Republic for a vacation on March 24 and stayed until March 27, when they were expected to be back in the U.S.

Police officials said on April 9 that local fishermen found a auto in the water near where the couple would have been driving on their way to the airport back from their vacation getaway in the northeast part of the country, according to the Diario Libre report. A vehicle, believed to be the couple's rental auto, is underwater nearby but divers have been unable to recover it because of the weather.

Autopsies are being conducted to determine if the two people who died in what appeared to be a auto accident are Moore and Ravenelle, the police statement said.

Investigators said they confirmed the couple had checked out of the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa hotel in Samana on March 27. Their relatives told police they were scheduled to fly to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey that day, but missed their flight out of Santa Domingo. A police report was filed for the missing couple on March 29.

"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", a U.S. Department of State official said in a statement.

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