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Car, Bodies Found as Police Search for Missing Female Couple

Stephanie Mayorga and Paige Escalera
From left: Stephanie Mayorga and Paige Escalera

But police still are not saying if the bodies are those of the missing North Carolina women, engaged couple Paige Escalera and Stephanie Mayorga.

Police in Wilmington, N.C., have found a car belonging to a missing female couple with two bodies inside, but they so far have not said if the deceased are indeed the missing women.

The police Monday discovered a gray Dodge Dart registered to Paige Escalera, 25, of Wilmington. She and her fiancee, Stephanie Mayorga, 27, were last seen April 15.

The car was found near Wilmington's Watermark Marina, "deep in the woods and covered in vegetation," according to a police statement issued Tuesday, NBC News reports. It "may have been involved in an extremely high velocity crash," the statement continued.

"A caller advised that they saw a car in their rearview mirror heading west on Independence Boulevard, going at a high rate of speed, possibly hitting a wall and then going into the wooded area," the police statement noted.

The bodies were decomposed when the car was found, and as of Thursday, police still would not say if they had been identified as those of Escalera and Mayorga, Wilmington's Star News reports. Police said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy.

"This is a tragic case, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions -- not only for the media and for the public, but for investigators as well," said a police news release issued Thursday morning.

At the time the women were reported missing, police said they were treating their disappearance as suspicious.

Escalera and Mayorga had announced their engagement in March via Facebook.

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