Disappearance baffles family
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
By ANNA NGUYEN
This past weekend, the family and friends of Mount Laurel resident Danielle Imbo and Richard Petrone Jr. posted about 5,000 fliers throughout Philadelphia and South Jersey in hopes someone would contact the police with leads into the disappearance of the pair on Feb. 19.
Groups posted the fliers in rest stops, hotels, motels on the way to Atlantic City. They're also posted in South Philadelphia, said Rich Ballezzi Jr., Richard Petrone's best friend and spokesman for his family.
"All week long, we've been retracing their steps," Ballezzi said.
Imbo, 34, of Dunbarton Drive, and Petrone, 35, a South Philadelphia resident, were last seen around 11:45 p.m. at Abilene on South Street as they departed from friends. The couple may be in a black Dodge Dakota pickup truck, with Pennsylvania license plate YFH2319, police said.
Petrone's truck also has a NASCAR #99 decal on the rear window, said Ballezzi, a resident of Deptford.
"There are no new updates," Jack Smith, spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, said Monday afternoon.
"Our detectives are now working in conjunction with the Mount Laurel and Philadelphia police departments," said Smith.
"We don't know what to think. We haven't heard anything from the police," said Joseph Imbo, who is currently taking care of his and Danielle Imbo's 1-year-old son, Joe Imbo III. The couple has been separated for a year, he said.
"I've known her for eight years, and she would never take off and leave her son. The baby was her world," said Joseph Imbo.
"Her son needs her," said Jodi Ottobre, Danielle Imbo's sister-in-law and close friend. Jodi Ottobre said Danielle would bring her son over to play with her 2-year-old twin boys.
"She is the most caring mother and sister, and a fantastic daughter," said John Ottobre, her younger brother and Jodi Ottobre's husband.
"This is totally out of her character for this to happen," said John Ottobre. "We're just all distraught and we feel helpless."
"We just want her to come home," said Felice Ottobre, her mother.
For the past year, Danielle Imbo worked from her home processing mortgages and refinancing for homes to take care of her son, said Felice Ottobre. Danielle Imbo previously worked at Cendant, a mortgage company in Mount Laurel, she said.
Petrone and Danielle Imbo have been dating off and on since last June, said Felice Ottobre. The families have known each other for about 20 years, she said.
Felice Ottobre said she last saw her daughter at dinner the evening of her disappearance in Philadelphia. Richard Petrone's mother and his two sisters also joined them for dinner.
After the meal, one of Richard Petrone's sisters drove Imbo to meet Petrone and another couple on South Street for a drink, said Felice Ottobre.
They left before midnight and planned to go back to Mount Laurel, said John Ottobre. No one has reported seeing them in Petrone's vehicle, he added.
Petrone worked at his father's business Viking Pastries in Ardmore, Pa., said Ballezzi. Petrone also has a 14-year-old daughter, Angela, who he raised on his own, Bellezzi said. His daughter now lives with her mother in South Philadelphia.
Petrone moved to South Philadelphia from Ardmore to be closer to his daughter, said Ballezzi.
Ballezzi said he knew something was wrong when Petrone did not call him and he heard Imbo had missed appointments on Feb. 20.
"There's no way he would've left his daughter and she would've left her son," he said.http://www.nbc10.com
Reward Offered For Missing Couple
Man, Woman Disappear From South Street
POSTED: 6:31 pm EST March 8, 2005
UPDATED: 6:56 pm EST March 8, 2005
CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- A reward is now being offered for information that will lead to a missing South Jersey couple.
Danielle Imbo and Richard Petrone Jr. were last seen on South Street in Philadelphia nearly three weeks ago.
The Citizens Crime Commission is offering a $12,200 reward for any information in this missing persons case.
The families of the missing couple told NBC 10 News that they met with detectives Tuesday and were told there is nothing new in the case.
It has been two agonizing weeks for the families of Imbo and Petrone.
Imbo's family spoke out for the first time since the two's disappearance.
"Something's not right, and we need an answer," said John Ottobre, Imbo's brother.
Imbo and Petrone were both described as loving parents. Petrone has a 14-year-old daughter and Imbo has 2-year-old son with her estranged husband, Joe Imbo.
Joe Imbo said that his wife would never leave her son behind.
"Her life revolved around our son. He's a great kid and it's all because of her," Joe Imbo said.
Imbo and Petrone disappeared on Feb. 19 after meeting friends at Abilines restaurant They were last seen in Petrone's black Dodge Dakota, Pennsylvania license plate YFH-2319.
Police said they have no leads. They have not found any sign of the cell phones or credit cards of Imbo or Petrone being used.
"We don't know. They're just two people who have disappeared with no trace of anything," said Felice Ottobre, Imbo's mother.
Every day Imbo's family burns a candle for her, hoping that both she and Petrone return home safely.
"They are our children, they are parents, they are a brother and a sister, and we want our children home. We want our family back," Felice Ottobre said.
A prayer service is scheduled one week from Wednesday at St. Peter's Church in Cherry Hill, N.J.
If you know anything about this missing couple, call the Citizens Crime Commission at (215) 546-TIPS.