New York

Tattoos Could Help Identify Second Body Found in Caribbean Thought to Be NY Tourist

One of the bodies was positively identified Wednesday as the NY man's girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle

What to Know

  • Authorities in Dominican Republic are using photos of tattoos found on body thought to be of missing NY tourist in hopes of identifying it
  • Body found in Caribbean Sea on March 31 is believed to be that of Orlando Moore who went missing along with his girlfriend Portia Ravenelle
  • An unconscious and injured person who was found on the side of a Dominican highway and later died was later identified as Ravenelle

Authorities in the Dominican Republic are using photos of the tattoos found on a body thought to be that of a missing New York tourist in hopes of identifying it.

A body found in the Caribbean Sea on March 31 is believed to be that of Orlando Moore, 41, who vanished on their way to the airport after a romantic getaway several days earlier, Dominica Republic National Police said. The condition of the body has proven to be a roadblock in identifying the remains — prompting authorities to use the tattoos on the body as a means of helping identify it.

Moore and his 52-year-old girlfriend Portia Ravenelle, left Newark Liberty International Airport for a romantic getaway on March 23. They were supposed to fly back four days later. They never came home to Mount Vernon.

Ravenelle was found unconscious, with traumatic injuries to her body, on the side of a highway March 27, the day the couple had been expected to fly home. She died several days later from her injuries. 

She was subsequently identified through her fingerprints, Dominican Republic National Police announced Wednesday.

Four days after Ravenelle was found, a body resembling the characteristics of Moore was discovered in a car in the Caribbean Sea, about 12 to 18 miles where authorities believe the couple got into a car accident on their way to the airport.

Apparently, the couple had rented a vehicle to make their way home; authorities haven't been able to recover the car from the water because of current conditions, but they expect it is the same vehicle the couple rented to drive to the airport.

During a Wednesday press conference, Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia, spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police, said the state of decomposition of the second body has delayed its identification because fingerprints cannot be used.

Authorities have since taken photographs of the tattoos on the body and sent them to Moore’s  brother in New Jersey in hopes it will lead to a positive identification.

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