News, Culture & Society

Newly-engaged couple missing for three weeks ‘were drunk and traveling at 103mph’ when they crashed

The newly-engaged couple who had been missing for three weeks before being found dead in their car were drunk and traveling at 103mph when they crashed, police say.  

Stephanie Mayorga, 27, and Paige Escalera, 25, were last seen on the night of April 15 leaving their home in Wilmington, North Carolina, together and stepping into a dark gray 2013 Dodge Dart that belonged to Escelara, cops say.

Wilmington Police found that vehicle and their decomposing just after 3pm on May 4 in the woods off the intersection of Independence Blvd and River Road. 

In a statement officer said: ‘We can confidently say alcohol and speed were major factors in the wreck.’  Mayorga is said to have been driving at the time of impact.

Police created a computer generated reconstruction of what they believed happened in the crash, saying it took just 0.99 seconds for the impact to hit.  

The women disappeared on the night of April 15 but were not reported missing until three days later by their roommate. 

Investigators had deemed their disappearance as ‘suspicious’ as they left their belongings in their apartment. 

  

Stephanie Mayorga, 27, left, and Paige Escalera, 25, right, were last seen on the night of April 15 leaving their home in Wilmington, North Carolina, getting into their car

In a statement officers said the women were traveling between 102 and 103mph, when they hit the curb and 'went airborne'. The police reconstruction of the crash is pictured above

In a statement officers said the women were traveling between 102 and 103mph, when they hit the curb and ‘went airborne’. The police reconstruction of the crash is pictured above

Police say the Dodge Dart was 'hidden in an area of thick vegetation, partially submerged in a swamp with only a small section of the roof visible from up above' when it was found on May 4

Police say the Dodge Dart was ‘hidden in an area of thick vegetation, partially submerged in a swamp with only a small section of the roof visible from up above’ when it was found on May 4

In a 911 call made on April 15 another driver had described seeing a car ‘traveling at a high rate of speed, running through a stop sign, and crashing’. 

Law enforcement had searched the area that evening but found no sign of the collision then. 

Police say the Dodge Dart was ‘hidden in an area of thick vegetation, partially submerged in a swamp with only a small section of the roof visible from up above’  when it was eventually found nearly three weeks later on May 4. 

They added: ‘When police arrived on scene around 3pm that afternoon, there were no obvious signs of a wreck. There were no broken limbs, no skid marks, and no debris. 

‘The only evidence of the crash was a faint tire imprint near the curb, as well as scuffmarks on the curb itself.’

Police located the women’s car, where they found two decomposing bodies. 

Wilmington Police found that vehicle and their decomposing just after 3pm on May 4 in the woods off the intersection of Independence Blvd and River Road

Wilmington Police found that vehicle and their decomposing just after 3pm on May 4 in the woods off the intersection of Independence Blvd and River Road

'Surveillance photos also show one of the women holding a beer bottle as they exited their apartment around 9pm that night', police said

‘Surveillance photos also show one of the women holding a beer bottle as they exited their apartment around 9pm that night’, police said 

'The only evidence of the crash was a faint tire imprint near the curb, as well as scuffmarks on the curb itself', police said. The crash scene is pictured

‘The only evidence of the crash was a faint tire imprint near the curb, as well as scuffmarks on the curb itself’, police said. The crash scene is pictured

Police eventually located the women's car, where they found two decomposing bodies. The crash scene is pictured

Police eventually located the women’s car, where they found two decomposing bodies. The crash scene is pictured 

In a statement officers said the women were traveling between 102 and 103mph, when they hit the curb and ‘went airborne’.  

They added: ‘This crash happened in the blink of an eye. From the time the vehicle hit the curb to the time of the collision, only 0.99 seconds elapsed. 

‘Several open, empty beer bottles were discovered in the vehicle, and investigators were able to determine the women purchased a 12 pack of beer from a convenience store at 10.49pm, roughly one hour prior to the crash. 

‘Surveillance photos also show one of the women holding a beer bottle as they exited their apartment around 9pm that night. 

‘Due to the level of decomposition, it is unlikely that a toxicology report will yield results, but based on this evidence, we are confident alcohol played a large role in the crash.’

The women disappeared on the night of April 15 but were not reported missing until three days later by their roommate. Investigators had deemed their disappearance as 'suspicious' as they left their belongings in their apartment

The women disappeared on the night of April 15 but were not reported missing until three days later by their roommate. Investigators had deemed their disappearance as ‘suspicious’ as they left their belongings in their apartment

The recently engaged couple had not known each other very long, friends said, and had only lived in the apartment a week before their disappearance. 

Mayorga had been selling items such as a used drum kit and three watches on Facebook in late March, according to Port City Daily. 

Escalera’s phone was found left behind on the couple’s bed and given to the police as evidence by their roommate. In the lead up to her disappearance, the younger woman had blocked close friends on social media, her sister said. 

The couple died as a result of traumatic head and chest injuries.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk