Missing New York couple's rental car was seen at a toll booth after they missed their flight from the Dominican Republic

Guests at a resort in the Dominican Republic shared details of the day they spent with a New York couple who went missing shortly after. CNN's Rosa Flores reports.

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 3:30 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2019 3:30 PM

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said Tuesday there is no evidence of foul play in the disappearance of a New York couple who were vacationing in the Caribbean country.

Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were supposed to return to New York from the Dominican Republic on March 27, said Moore's half-sister, Lashay Turner.

But Moore's family has not heard from him since he left for the Dominican Republican on March 23 from Newark Liberty International Airport, Turner said. The couple left a car at the Newark airport.

The Dominican Republic National Police said the couple rented a Kia Rio for three days and the car was not returned.

Images show the car at toll booths. One of the photos was taken at 1:41 a.m. ET after their flight was scheduled to depart Santa Domingo. The photos show the car from the rear.

Police verified the passenger lists for departed flights from the country from March 24-27 and the couple was not on them, the national police said.

'They were a very sweet couple'

Cheryl Freeman and her boyfriend are believed to be among the last people who spent time with the couple on their final day in Samana, a resort town about 2.5 hours from the capital of Santo Domingo.

Freeman fondly remembers the couple, whom she had hoped to keep in touch with after she returned to Canada.

"They were very sweet people," said Freeman, an accountant in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"Orlando is so friendly he could make friends with anyone."

This is Freeman's account of the time she spent with the missing couple.

A chance encounter on a cart ride

Freeman and her boyfriend Carter Warrington stayed at the same all-inclusive resort as Moore and Ravenelle, the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa.

On the morning of March 25, the two couples met on a cart ride from their villas to the breakfast buffet, Freeman said.

Immediately, the couple was friendly and invited Freeman and Warrington to eat breakfast with them.

After breakfast, the couple parted ways and exchanged emails so they could meet up the next day, Tuesday, March 26.

Horseback riding and waterfalls

After breakfast Tuesday, the foursome sat by the pool, drinking piña coladas until it started to rain, Freeman said.

They agreed to meet in the lobby at 12:30 p.m. to find a waterfall, Freeman said.

Moore told them he had made friends with the hotel bartender the night before, Freeman said, and the bartender sent them to a friend in El Limón for sightseeing.

Moore drove the four in a Kia to El Limón, where they met the bartender's friend.

For $20 per person, the friend took them horseback riding up a mountain and down to a valley where they spent the afternoon by a waterfall.

Freeman shared gleeful photos of the couples sharing toasts and sipping drinks from pineapples. In one photo, they smiled and hugged as they posed in front of a waterfall. Another photo captured Moore on horseback.

Concerns arise about driving

At some point in the day, Freeman said she learned that the couple had a flight around 2 a.m. out of Santo Domingo, located roughly 100 miles from their resort.

Ravenelle told Freeman that they got a good deal on the airfare, but she had not realized how far it was from their hotel.

To make it to the airport on time, the couple had rented the car they used for sightseeing, Freeman said. But Ravenelle expressed anxiety about the prospect of driving at night, Freeman said.

Throughout the day, Freeman said Ravenelle was on her phone talking to the rental company about what time they would return the car. Ravenelle also said she was talking to her daughter, according to Freeman.

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

During the drive, Ravenelle told Moore not to roll down his window for the men on speed bikes driving up next to their car, Freeman said.

On the way back to the hotel, Ravenelle repeatedly asked Moore if he was sure they had enough gas to make it to the airport. She kept checking to make sure their phones were charged enough to use the GPS, Freeman said.

A disco excursion

After returning to the hotel, the couples separated for dinner, Freeman said. They agreed to meet around 8:30 p.m. to go to a disco in Samana.

At the bar, the couples split a bottle of rum. They also saw the hotel bartender and his wife there, Freeman said.

Again, Freeman said Ravenelle appeared nervous, wanting to leave because she was worried about traveling to the airport and returning the car.

Freeman said she was nervous, too, 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 said. "I would not recommend it."

They returned to the resort between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday. They hugged goodbye in the lobby and promised to exchange photos over email and keep in touch.

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

Freeman said the last thing the couple said to them was that they were going upstairs to pack up and check out.

That was the last they heard from them

After the couple left, Warrington, Freeman's boyfriend, sent Moore an email wishing them a safe flight.

He never heard back from him.

Freeman said she did not realize the couple had gone missing until she returned to Halifax on March 31 and discovered several emails from Ravenelle's family.

Freeman said no law enforcement agencies have contacted her about their disappearance.

Now, details about the resort stick out in Freeman's mind. She noted that 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.

In the brief time she knew her, Freeman said Ravenelle came off as "very cautious," adding that she would be surprised if Ravenelle would have let Moore stop even for directions.

Meanwhile, Moore's family is also searching for answers.

His sister said she filed a police report with Mount Vernon Police on March 29. But the office of the chief said no report was filed about Moore, and the department is not conducting an investigation.

Turner said she has been trying to call law enforcement in the Dominican Republic, but has struggled to get information.

"I'm scared, I don't know what's going on," Turner told CNN.

"My brother's not the type to just run off and not tell anybody."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 83°
Mason City
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Albert Lea
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
Austin
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
Charles City
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Hot and sticky fourth of July weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Alternative baseball hopes to come to the Med City in 2021

Image

FOURTH OF JULY IN AUSTIN AND STEWARTVILLE

Image

Seans 6pm Weather 7/4

Image

Fans excited for Honkers return

Image

Honkers fall to St. Cloud in home opener

Image

Baseball returns to the Med City

Image

Seans 10pm Weather 7/3

Image

Leaders advocate for the homeless

Image

Fireworks Show During the Pandemic

Image

Pillars of the City Unveiled

Community Events