Police believe body found, woman dead in hospital is missing couple

Cheryl Freeman and Portia Ravenelle in Samama Dominican Republic

Cheryl Freeman and Portia Ravenelle in Samama Dominican Republic

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. A police report was filed for the missing couple on March 29.

The pair, of Mount Vernon, New York, stayed at the all-inclusive Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa resort in Samaná from 23- 27 March.

National Police spokesman Frank Felix Duran said that fishermen found a man's body in the water off San Souci on March 31.

Police believe the couple died March 27 en route to the airport after their rental auto plunged into the Caribbean Ocean off the Las Américas highway. The two bodies have been sent to the National Institute of Forensic Pathology for autopsy, and the agency is reportedly working with US authorities to determine if the deceased can be positively confirmed as Portia Ravenelle and Orlando Moore.

His remains were in an advanced state of decomposition, police said, and he had a tattoo that read "Milano" on the right arm, matching one known to be on Mr Moore.

Orlando Moore, 40, and girlfriend Portia Ravenelle, 52, both of Mount Vernon, N.Y., were supposed to return home March 27, but they never boarded their flight back to Newark Liberty International Airport.

The woman, who had no identification, died at the Doctor Dario Contreras Hospital on April 4.

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Their families have been unable to reach them for more than 15 days.

Turner said that the pair had a rental auto in the Dominican Republic and the vehicle is also missing.

The fisherman also told authorities that they saw a vehicle at the bottom of the sea.

Diario Libre reported that rough conditions in the water have thus far prevented divers from getting to the submerged vehicle for further investigation.

Authorities said Tuesday there was no evidence of foul play in the disappearance of the couple, who were vacationing in the Caribbean country.

Her death was subsequently confirmed by an official with the US Department of State. "He's not just going to run off on a hiatus and not tell his family", Moore's sister, Lashay Turner told NBC 4 NY.

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