Confirmed: Bodies of Missing Couple on Vacation Found in the Dominican Republic

After two bodies were recovered just days after a couple from New York vanished while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, authorities have now confirmed that one of the bodies has been identified as the missing woman.

via NYDN:

Portia Ravenelle, 32, was found unconscious on March 27 on a road that leads to the international airport in Santo Domingo, police said.

The Mount Vernon woman was rushed to a local hospital, where she died on April 4, Dominican National Police spokesman Frank Felix Duran Mejia told Diario Libre.

Ravenelle was identified by her fingerprints, Duran Mejia said.

The body of a man was found in the ocean on March 31 — about 20 miles from where Ravenelle was found. Authorities believe it is her boyfriend Orlando Moore.

Because the corpse was water damaged and decomposed, fingerprints can’t be used to identify the body, Duran Mejia said.

Instead, photos of tattoos inked on the man are being sent to Moore’s brother for identification, police said. Moore sported a “MILANO” tattoo on his arm.

Authorities believe the couple crashed and went off the road into the ocean as they headed back to the airport just before 2 a.m. on March 27 to fly home. Their rental car, cops said, is in the sea.

The couple’s neighbors in Mount Vernon reacted with shock Wednesday.

“I had no idea they were going on vacation. I had some things going on in the house and I needed Orlando’s assistance. He told me he was out of the country,” said John Hollis, 52, Moore’s neighbor.

They last spoke early on March 26, and Moore said he was coming home.

Hollis said he and Ravenelle — who had two daughters and a son — were good friends.

“Orlando was a very vibrant, outgoing person that would do anything for you if you asked him to. He was always asking me if I needed help getting stuff done,” he said. “She would call me up in the morning and say, ‘Hi handsome’ and I would say ‘Hi beautiful.’ I’m going to miss that.”

Not everyone who knows the couple buys the story being sold by the Dominican police.

Moore’s ex-girlfriend, who declined to give her name, is skeptical of the official account.

“It just doesn’t add up. Orlando and I have been on trips together and it doesn’t add up. Orlando is very cautious. If they were driving at night, he would’ve been very careful. I mean, it’s the DR, they have their advisories,” she said.

Others who know the pair also fear the worst.

“…Sounds like it’s open season on American tourists. They wait for you, they scope you out,” said Ivy Durkin, 64, who lives next to Ravenelle’s mother. “To be honest, it’s a very high possibility, when they got on the road, somebody cut them off and did what they did.

“No worse thing could happen to these people. They are just such good people.”

As we said earlier this week — the story being sold by DR officials sounds fishy to us too. Prayers go out to their family and friends.

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