A man and woman from New York reported missing in the Dominican Republic are believed to have died following a car accident on their way to catch a 2am return flight on March 27. A body believed to be that of Orlando Moore (police cite an identifying tattoo) was found in the Caribbean Sea on March 31, four days after a rental car sunk after leaving a coastal highway, per CNN and NBC News. And a woman now believed to be Portia Ravenelle had been found on a road leading to the international airport in Santo Domingo on March 27; she survived the crash but died eight days later in a hospital. "She had to die by herself when one of us could have been there holding her hand," family friend Francesca Figueroa tells CNN, adding a US Embassy official told her there were no bodies or accidents reported as of March 31, when Ravenelle, 52, was reportedly alive.
Police say the unconscious female crash victim didn't have identification on her person, per the Daily Beast. In such cases, protocol is to release a photo of the patient to the media "so that family members can contact us," a hospital rep says. Fingerprinting is now underway to confirm the identifies of the bodies, which will also be subject to autopsies. Police say the crashed vehicle, so far unreachable by divers due to rough seas, will also be "removed by officials for identification purposes," per NBC. The outlet is one of several reporting that Moore and Ravenelle were dating. However, Figueroa tells CNN they were friends who worked together. "Two silly individuals, two happy-go-lucky people, always trying to help people, that's who they are," she says. Moore, 40, leaves behind one daughter, whom Figueroa says is "devastated." (Read more missing persons stories.)