Lawmakers in New York are urging the FBI to investigate the mysterious deaths of a Mount Vernon couple who died on their way to an airport in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic authorities said Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were killed in a wreck when they lost control of their rental car, which went plunging into the ocean.
However, Representatives Eliot Engel and Adriano Espaillat want federal agents to investigate why it took weeks for the country to identify the couple, reported the New York Daily News.
“We write to request an immediate investigation into the reported deaths of Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle who never returned from their vacation in the Dominican Republic,” U.S. Reps. Eliot Engel and Adriano Espaillat said in a letter Wednesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Also, there remains several unanswered questions surrounding the deaths of Moore and Ravenelle.
“The FBI must work quickly to conduct a thorough investigation regarding details of their reported deaths that raise questions for us. It is essential that this investigation be conducted expeditiously so that both families can receive the closure they deserve,” the letter said.
According to local officials, Ravenelle was still alive when she was found on the side of the road on March 27. She was pronounced dead in a hospital on April 4. Moore’s body was pulled from the ocean about 19 miles away and identified on Wednesday.
Authorities have not been able to recover the car from the water.
According to reports, the two had expressed safety concerns to another couple they met during their visit.
“We keep their family, children, and loved ones in prayer during this time of grief,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said in a statement. “The City of Mount Vernon is determined to get the full facts on the tragedy in the Dominican Republic. There are too many unanswered questions.”
Family and friends of Orlando Moore have since started a GoFundMe campaign to have his remains brought back to the United States.
“The family of Orlando Moore has made the decision to return him to the United States,” the page titled “Justice for Orlando” reads.
“This must also be coordinated through the Jamaican Consulate since Orlando was traveling on a Jamaican passport. Returning a body to the U.S. is a complex and expensive process,” states the GoFundMe page. “The family of the deceased is responsible for all costs associated with this process.”
The family says the money raised would be used for a funeral, investigation, and to help Moore’s three children. The fund’s immediate goal is to raise $20,000.
(Photo: NBC4 New York)