Tourists Reveal How Missing New York Couple Spent Final Day In Dominican Republic

Tourists Reveal How Missing New York Couple Spent Final Day In Dominican Republic

Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were nervous about their late-night drive to the airport.

Published April 9th

Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were supposed to return to New York from the Dominican Republic on March 27, but their family hasn’t heard from them since they first left on March 23.

The day before they were scheduled to leave the Dominican Republic, Moore and Ravenelle, participated in island excursions with two fellow travelers.

In an interview with CNN, Canadian tourists recounted the final hours they spent with Moore and Ravenelle before the couple went missing.

While police aren’t sure exactly what happened in the moments before the couple went missing, Canadian couple Cheryl Freeman and Carter Warrington may have been the last people to see Moore and Ravenelle.

“They were very sweet people,” Freeman, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, told CNN.  “Orlando is so friendly he could make friends with anyone.”

Like Moore and Ravenelle, Freeman and her boyfriend, Carter, also stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, an all-inclusive Dominican Republic resort. According to Freeman, the two couples first met on March 25 when they took a cart ride from their villas to the breakfast buffet.

During breakfast, the couples quickly bonded and exchanged emails so they could meet up the next day.

On Tuesday, March 26, the couples spent time by the pool drinking piña coladas. Once it started to rain, the couples decided to separate and meet back up around noon to go see a waterfall.

A friend of the resort’s bartender took the couples horseback riding up a mountain and down to a waterfall.

Although the couples snapped many gleeful photos in front of the waterfall, Freeman did notice that Revenelle had some anxiety about their flight home.

According to Freeman, the couple’s flight was scheduled to depart around 2 a.m. out of Santo Domingo, which was about 100 miles from their resort. The couple rented a car to go to the airport, but Ravenelle expressed concerns about driving at night.  

Freeman said Ravenelle told them the rental company warned them to not stop or open their windows for anyone because the locals, who know which cars are rentals, try to mug tourists.

After both couples left the waterfall excursion and returned to the hotel, they separated for dinner and agreed to meet around 8:30 p.m. to go to a disco in Samana.

At the bar, Ravenelle voiced more concerns about traveling to the airport and returning the rental car. Freeman understood Ravenelle’s fears because she also experienced troubling incidents as a tourist in Samana.

Locals "harassed you constantly and there were always people trying to get you to follow them and do stuff," she told CNN. "I would not recommend it."

Once the couples returned to the resort for the final time around 10 p.m., they hugged goodbye in the lobby and promised to exchange photos over email.

"They invited us to come see them in New York and we invited them to Nova Scotia for later in summer,” Freeman said.

After the couple left, Warrington sent Moore an email wishing them a safe flight, but he never heard back from them.

It wasn’t until March 31 when Freeman began receiving emails from Ravenelle's family that she realized the couple never returned home.

When it comes to the safety of the resort, Freeman said there was a security guard armed with a rifle guarding her villa every night at the hotel. She also said the public could access the resort via the beach.

Freeman said no law enforcement agencies have contacted her about the couple’s disappearance.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: NTD-TV)

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