YONKERS, NY — April 29, 2019 — Westchester Congressman Eliot Engel and Rep. Adriano Espaillat wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray calling for an FBI investigation into the deaths of Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle, two Mount Vernon, NY, residents who reportedly died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.
“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,” the two Congressmen wrote in their letter dated April 10, 2019.
“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.”
Moore and Ravenelle were expected back in New York on March 27 but never returned. Dominican authorities contend their rental car plunged into the ocean as they drove to the airport to fly home. Engel and Espaillat met Wednesday morning with U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Bernstein, who acknowledged the importance of learning the full facts of this case.
“Any loved one lost from Mount Vernon is a loved one lost for all of us, and we are heartbroken by the loss of Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas, who reached out to both Engel and Espaillat’s offices regarding the case. “We keep their family, children, and loved ones in prayer during this time of grief. 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 and the people of Mount Vernon thank Congressman Eliot Engel and Congressman Adriano Espaillat for taking action, requesting FBI Director Christopher Wray to conduct a full investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of our citizens who vanished on vacation in the Dominican Republic.”
Engel’s and Espaillat’s letter to Ray reads, in part:
“National Police Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia stated that an unconscious woman fitting the description of Ms. Ravenelle was found on the day of the crash and died in the intensive care unit at the Doctor Dario Contreras Hospital on April 4. Col. Mejia also announced that the body of a man fitting the description of Orlando Moore was found at sea near the Santo Domingo neighborhood of Sans Souci. As far as we know, the rental car has not yet been found.
“We request: A full investigation into the reported deaths of Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle, and a follow-up briefing summarizing your findings.
“A complete timeline of events spanning from Moore and Ravenelle’s arrival to the Dominican Republic through the announcement of their found bodies April 9, 2019. “Assistance to Dominican authorities to recover Moore and Ravenelle’s rental car, and a thorough search of the vehicle” and “A detailed report on FBI cooperation with Dominican authorities – including National Police Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia.”
Original publication by Yonkers Times on April 24, 2019. http://yonkerstimes.com/two-mt-vernon-residents-die-in-dominican-republic/