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SEE IT: Police in Dominican Republic recover car used by couple who went missing

The car used by a New York tourists who went missing last month has been recovered off the coast of the Dominican Republic, police said Friday.

Authorities extracted a car from the area where Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle went missing on March 27, according to Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia.

The vehicle identification number of the car pulled from the Caribbean Sea matches the number of the car Moore and Ravenelle had rented, according to Duran Mejia.

Video provided to CNN by Dominican Republic National Police show the extraction of the vehicle.

From the images, it's difficult to discern the make and model of the car.

Upholstery, cables and other debris appear to dangle from the car as it was pulled from the sea. Locals describe that zone as "la batidora" -- the blender -- because of the rough seas normally found in the area.

Duran Mejia said a black iPhone was also recovered. It's unclear where the phone was found in relation to the car.

A photo provided to CNN by Dominican Republic National Police showed the back of the phone was shattered. The word "iPhone" is clearly visible. The agency is tracing the phone to figure out if it belongs to Moore or Ravenelle.

The National Police believe the car with Ravenelle, 52, and Moore, 40, plunged not long after the pair left for the airport to catch a flight home to New York.

Detectives spoke to fishermen who said they heard a loud noise coming from 19 kilometers (about 11.8 miles) away from the freeway of Las Americas, Santo Domingo Este early that morning, the National Police said.

The fishermen said they found a woman who was seriously injured and not carrying any identification, police said.

She was taken by ambulance to the hospital with severe trauma and contusions to the head, hospital spokesman Dario Mañon said.

Ravenelle died April 4, before she was in a condition in which hospital officials could take her photo and share it with the media, he said. Mañon told CNN that no family or friends had called the hospital looking for Ravenelle.

The fishermen also reported seeing a vehicle at the bottom of the sea, but because of rough conditions, divers had not been able to identify the vehicle, Durán Mejia said. Crews waited days for the seas to calm to begin their search.

On March 31, the body of a man fitting the description of Moore was found at sea near Sans Souci, Durán Mejia said.

Police are still working to identify the body they believe is Moore's, but they say they are sure both bodies of the missing pair have been found.

Authorities are hoping Moore's brother can identify him by photographs of his tattoos. One of his tattoos, on the right arm, reads "Milan."

Moore's friend, Francesca Figueroa, told CNN she confirmed to the police that Moore has a tattoo with his daughter's name, "Milan," on his arm.

Moore and Ravenelle were friends who worked together and decided to take a trip to the Dominican Republic, Figueroa said. They arrived in the country March 24.

Cheryl Freeman said she and her boyfriend spent time with Moore and Ravenelle while on vacation in the resort town of Samana. Freeman said Moore and Ravenelle had a 2 a.m. flight and were driving a rental car to the airport.

Ravenelle repeatedly asked Moore if he was sure they had enough gas to make it to the airport, Freeman said. She kept checking to make sure their phones were charged enough to use the GPS, Freeman said.

The two were due back in New York on March 27, but airport surveillance shows they never made it into the airport building.

Police now believe an accident caused them to drive off the freeway and into the sea. Authorities said there was no evidence of foul play.

The case has not been closed, and Durán Mejia said there are still many unanswered questions around the circumstances of the accident.

 

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