Eight years later, still no clue in couple's disappearance
For the last 2292 days, not a clue to the whereabouts of a young couple, Richard Petrone and Danielle Imbo, has been discovered.
That equals eight years ago today. The two vanished Feb. 19, 2005, after leaving a bar on South Street near Fourth Street at about 11:30 p.m. Investigators have said they were last seen driving from the area in Petrone's 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck.
Neither the truck nor the couple has been seen since. And the cold case hasn't had any real breaks in years.
The last news in the case of the single South Philly dad and the estranged single mom from South Jersey came in 2008 when the FBI said evidence suggested a possible "murder-for-hire" scenario. At that time, Petrone's father said the family believed all along that "it was not a random criminal."
The FBI again Tuesday reiterated investigators' suspicions about the couple's disappearance.
"Investigators have reason to believe that Petrone and Imbo were victims of foul play," the FBI said in a statement renewing a call for information from the public about Petrone and Imbo.
The Citizen's Crime Commission is still offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to their whereabouts. The public can call 215-546-TIPS (8477) to give information.
In their statement issued Tuesday afternoon on the eighth anniversary, the FBI issued the following statement:
"The FBI, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Division are continuing to investigate the disappearance of Richard Petrone and Danielle Imbo (née October). The pair was last seen at 11:30 p.m. on February 19, 2005, leaving a bar (formerly Abilene’s Bar) on 4th and South Streets in Philadelphia, in Petrone's 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. Investigators have reason to believe that Petrone and Imbo were victims of foul play; neither the couple nor the vehicle have been found. Richard Petrone was a single parent living in South Philadelphia, and worked full time at his family’s business, Viking’s Pastries, in Ardmore, PA. Danielle Imbo, who was estranged from her husband, was living in South Jersey with her infant son and was working in the mortgage industry."
On the website dedicated to Petrone, his father, Richard Sr., posted a poem to his son on Feb. 7 that read in part:
"You left a song unsung
Memories to be made
Stories to tell
A Grandson to raise
There were fish to catch
And balls to throw
Pucks to shoot"
Its ending hints at a perpetrator behind their disappearance:
"You put so much thought in
All that and more is gone
Somewhere there's an answer
Somewhere there's a reason
And a person
Who put a plan in motion"
Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.