Family of NY couple who died in DR start GoFundMe to bring man’s body home

Orlando Moore (GoFundMe)

Family and friends of Orlando Moore, a tourist in the Dominican Republic who turned up dead in the ocean, days after he and girlfriend Portia Ravenelle were supposed to catch a flight home to New York, started a GoFundMe campaign to bring his remains back to the United States.

“The family of Orlando Moore has made the decision to return him to the United States,” the page titled “Justice for Orlando” says.

“This must also be coordinated through the Jamaican Consulate, since Orlando was traveling on a Jamaican Passport.  Returning a body to the U.S. is a complex and expensive process,” the family explains on the GoFundMe page. “The family of the deceased is responsible for all costs associated with this process.”

The synopsis notes that money raised would be used for a funeral, investigation, and to help Moore’s three children. The fund’s immediate goal is to raise $20,000.

The Dominican National Police announced on Wednesday that the body of Moore’s girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle of Mount Vernon, had been positively identified using fingerprints.

Police said Ravenelle was still alive when she was found on an airport road in the Dominican Republic in the early hours of March 27.

Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle are seen on vacation in the Dominican Republic before being reported missing.

Authorities said she was unidentifiable when brought to a hospital, and died eight days later in the Intensive Care Unit on April 4.

The badly decomposed body of a man, believed to be Moore, washed up in the ocean on March 31, according to officials.

Police said Wednesday the couple’s rental car was still in the ocean, and they believed Moore and Ravenelle were victims of an accident on the road to the airport, which can be treacherous to navigate at night, with steep drops to the sea.

The tourists had told new friends at the all-inclusive Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa resort they were making a 100-mile journey late at night for a 2 a.m. flight to New York.

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.

Twenty hours after the GoFundMe campaign launched, Moore’s friends had raised just over $3,700 of the $20,000 goal to bring his remains home.

If you wish to contribute, head to the “Justice for Orlando” GoFundMe page.

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