Stephanie Mayorga and Paige Escalera dead: Missing Wilmington engaged couple’s decomposed bodies found in car. Believed to have died after high velocity car crash.
## Update: Wilmington Police Department confirmed on Tuesday that a vehicle found in a wooded area in Wilmington belonged to one of two women reported missing two weeks prior.
Two family’s worse fears might have been realized after North Carolina police on Monday disclosed finding two bodies inside a grey 2013 Dodge Dart matching the description of a vehicle belonging to one of two recently engaged women who haven’t been seen since April 15.
In a Facebook post, the Wilmington Police Department said the bodies were too badly decomposed for immediate identification and that ‘there will be no further details provided today.’
Wilmington officials believe that the women died after an ‘extremely high velocity crash.’
‘While the investigation continues, police believe the car may have been involved in an extremely high velocity crash. 911 records show that on April 15, police, fire, and EMS were dispatched to this area just before midnight,’ Wilmington PD posted on Facebook.
The announcement comes as newly engaged females, Stephanie Mayorga, 27, and Paige Escalera, 25, were last seen in the north of Wilmington, not far from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington campus, at an apartment off South Kerr Avenue, on April 15 at around 10 p.m.
The department said the car was found just after 3 p.m. on Monday ‘deep in the woods’ off the intersection of Independence Blvd. and River Road, near the Cape Fear River in southwest Wilmington.
Interim Police Chief Donnie Williams told WECT that the car was the same one Escalera and Mayorga were seen driving away in on April 15.
Authorities await results of autopsy before making further comments:
Escalera’s sister, Stevie Jenkins, previously told Oxygen that the two women had recently become engaged and had just moved into the apartment with another roommate. Jenkins said the roommate didn’t realize she didn’t have to wait 48 hours before reporting them missing, and so didn’t contact police for three days after they were last seen.
According to Jenkins the couple left the house not dressed or taking possessions suggesting a long trip and that one of the missing woman’s cellphone was found in their bedroom. Also left behind were laptops and Ipad. Items that seemingly would be brought along were one planning on being gone for an extended period.
Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death and to determine whether foul play was involved.