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Car Linked To Missing, Newly Engaged Couple May Have Been In 'High Velocity Crash,' Police Say

Two decomposing bodies were found in the vehicle, which Wilmington police confirmed belongs to Paige Escalera, one of the missing women.

By Gina Tron
Car Found With Bodies May Be Linked To Missing Couple

A pair of bodies found inside a car belonging to a North Carolina woman who went missing with her newly engaged partner may have been involved in a high speed crash, police say.

Stephanie Mayorga, 27, and Paige Escalera, 25, vanished on April 15 after they were spotted getting into Escalera’s gray Dodge Dart.

Two bodies were found Monday inside a gray Dodge Dart “deep in the woods,” not far from a Wilmington intersection, according to the Wilmington Police Department. The bodies haven't been positively identified due to the “effects of decomposition.” They are scheduled to undergo an autopsy within a few days, according to police.

Police announced Tuesday that the car belongs to Escalera. They also gave insight into what could have led to the deaths of the two people inside.

“While the investigation continues, police believe the car may have been involved in an extremely high velocity crash,” police stated. 

Police noted that 911 records revealed that police, fire, and EMS were dispatched to that area just before midnight the day the women vanished. 

“A caller advised that they saw a car in their rear view mirror heading west on Independence Boulevard, going at a high rate of speed, possibly hitting a wall and then going into the wooded area,” police stated. “When First-Responders arrived they met with the caller and searched the area with flashlights. However they were unable to find any sign of a collision and no one with injuries.”

Escalera’s sister Stevie Jenkins previously told Oxygen.com that two had recently gotten engaged and had just moved in together.

“They had only lived there a week or so before they went missing,” she said of their new Wilmington apartment.

Their new roommate reported them missing 72 hours after they vanished, due to the common misconception that one must wait that long before reporting someone missing, police said.

Stephanie Mayorga Paige Escalera Pd 1

Now, Jenkins is reeling along with the couple's other loved ones as they all await the autopsy results.

“With millions of questions still unanswered, I just wondered who am I supposed to reminisce with?” She wrote Tuesday in a Facebook post, which featured a photo of her sister. “Secrets I’ve shared, things I’ve done, and memories that no one in this world could ever actually understand are now left here with myself.”