Body Found in Dominican Republic Confirmed to Be Missing American Tourist
Portia Ravenelle was reportedly identified by her fingerprints
A woman’s body found in the Dominican Republic has been confirmed to be that of a New York tourist who disappeared along with her boyfriend while on vacation two weeks ago, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State confirmed to PEOPLE.
Portia Ravenelle, 32, died April 4, the spokesperson said, more than a week after she and boyfriend Orlando Moore, 43, were scheduled to return home from their vacation March 27, according to NBC New York.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” the statement read. “We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas.”
Dominican Republic national police chief spokesman Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia said in a statement Tuesday that authorities had found two bodies they believed to be Ravenelle and Moore, according to a translation by CBS.
The statement reportedly said police believe the couple crashed in a rental car en route to the airport.
Ravenelle’s body was found unconscious on the side of a road, and she was taken to the hospital, where she died days later, police said at a Spanish-language press conference translated by NBC New York.
Meanwhile, the body believed to be Moore was found in a car in the ocean on March 31, according to CBS. A tattoo on the body matches a tattoo on Moore.
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CNN reported authorities have said there is no sign of foul play.
The Dominican Republic’s National Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
A State Department official told PEOPLE on Tuesday, “We are aware of reports regarding a U.S. couple missing in the Dominican Republic. The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.”
The official added, “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further information to offer at this time.”
Moore’s aunt told the Post on Monday she was “very worried,” but holding out hope that couple might still be alive.
“But as time goes by, we start thinking that something strange has happened,” she said.
Relatives told the outlet the couple never checked out of their hotel room, and never returned their rental car. Both their phones were off.