A man and woman missing for two weeks likely died after a car accident in the Dominican Republic, authorities said. Although their bodies were found within days of the accident, family and friends are only now learning what happened to them.
The National Police believe the car Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were in plunged into the ocean in the early hours of March 27 as they were on their way to catch a flight home.
A body fitting the description of Moore was found at sea in an advanced stage of decomposition and Ravenelle was found alive — but she died in the ICU eight days later, police say.
“She had to die by herself,” family friend Francesca Figueroa told CNN. “When one of us could have been there holding her hand.”
Friends with Moore for about 25 years, Figueroa says she thinks of him as family. Both Moore and Ravenelle, friends who worked together, spent the night before their trip to the Dominican Republic at Figueroa’s having dinner and watching a movie.
“Two silly individuals, two happy-go-lucky people, always trying to help people, that’s who they are,” Figueroa said.
They were due back in New York on March 27 at 5:45 a.m., Figueroa said. When they didn’t return, Figueroa says her family started looking for them.
Figueroa said she spoke to a US Embassy representative on March 31 who told her “no bodies were found, there were no dead bodies reported, no accidents, no one was in jail.”
She said she was relieved. Perhaps they were just lost.
But on Tuesday, she learned that her friends likely were in a car accident on the way to the airport to go back home.
“I am saddened it took this many days to find out,” Figueroa said.
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SOURCE: CNN, Madeline Holcombe, Lauren del Valle and Rosa Flores