DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — Two bodies found days ago have been confirmed to be a missing couple who were vacationing in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Republic Embassy said Wednesday.
The embassy said in a statement Wednesday that Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle died due to a car accident that occurred “a few days ago” near the airport in Santo Domingo.
“We wish to express our most sincere condolences to their respective families and friends,” the Dominican Embassy said in a statement Wednesday.
According to Dominican authorities, Ravenelle managed to escape the car crash as the rental car sunk under water. She was taken to a nearby hospital unconscious and unable to speak, and never recovered from the accident.
Authorities said Ravenelle did not have any documentation on her so they were unable to identify her until recently. She died four days after being brought to the hospital.
Moore’s body was found a few days later, still at sea, Dominican officials said.
The car is still underwater and the investigation to confirm the root causes of the accident is still ongoing, officials said.
Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were supposed to return to New York 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.
Moore’s family had not heard from him since he left for the Dominican Republican on March 23 from Newark Liberty International Airport, Lashay Turner said. The couple left a car at the airport.
Authorities originally said they believed 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.
A review of the airport surveillance cameras revealed that the couple never made it inside the airport building.
Fishermen initially reported a vehicle in the ocean, according to National Police Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia, but divers were unable to identify the vehicle because of rough seas.
Authorities said Tuesday there was no evidence of foul play in the disappearance of the couple, who were vacationing in the Caribbean country.