Authorities discovered two bodies in a car belonging to the North Carolina lesbian couple who vanished in mid-April.
Stephanie Mayorga, 27, and Paige Escalera, 25, disappeared just weeks after they got engaged and moved in together. Escalera’s car, a gray Dodge Dart, was found by Wilmington, North Carolina police on Monday, NBC OUT reports.
“The car was found just after 3 p.m. outside the Watermark Marina with two unidentified bodies inside,” the police said in a statement. The car was “deep in the woods and covered in vegetation,” and it “may have been involved in an extremely high velocity crash,” police say.
Surveillance footage showed Escalera and Mayorga leaving their house and driving the Dart, according to Police Capt. Thomas Tillman. Also, police previously said they’d received a report of a high-speed crash in mid-April near where the Dart was found. Authorities had searched the area, but they didn’t find any evidence of the accident at the time.
Escalera and Mayorga just moved in together in March. Last week, Escalera’s sister, Stevie Jenkins, told Oxygen that the couple’s roommate filed a missing persons report after not seeing them for three days. “They had only lived there a week or so before they went missing,” Jenkins said.
Escalera’s phone had been left on their bed, while Mayorga’s phone had been shut off and her close friends had been blocked from her social media, Jenkins says. After the couple’s disappearance made headlines, photos of the missing couple circulated social media as family members and authorities pleaded for clues.
At the time, Jenkins explained that Escalera had been estranged from her family for some time and was just beginning to rekindle their relationship.
“I am at a loss,” she said. “For the first time in a long time I felt like I finally had her back.”
The bodies in the Dodge Dart have not yet been officially identified, but autopsies have been scheduled.