‘Significant development’ in Fiocco case

TUESDAY, 6:35 p.m.

TULLYTOWN, Pa. (AP) – The remains of a white man were found Tuesday in a Pennsylvania landfill where authorities have been searching for evidence related to the disappearance of freshman John Fiocco Jr., police said.

While authorities wouldn’t confirm the body of Fiocco had been recovered, the student’s uncle said the family was in mourning and thanked police for “bringing closure” to the case.

“Johnny was caring, sensitive, smart and witty,” Joseph Fiocco said outside the family home in Mantua Township. He asked anyone with information about his nephew to contact authorities. He would not answer questions.

Tullytown Patrolman John Finby said the remains were found at 1:45 p.m.

New Jersey State Police said they had made an important discovery at the landfill. Capt. Al Della Fave said there had been a “significant development” but would not disclose any further information.

The Times of Trenton, citing unnamed law enforcement sources on its Web site, said Fiocco’s body had been found. Several television news outlets also said his body had been found. However, this has not been officially confirmed by the New Jersey State Police or the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

A Mercer County Medical Examiner’s Office van was seen pulling up and leaving the landfill, part of which was covered with a blue tarp. Officials, clad in white jumpsuits, could be seen carefully carrying a long bag and placing it in the back of the van.

Authorities had been searching the Tullytown, Pa., landfill, which receives trash from the College, since April 1. Investigators had been combing the garbage for evidence, including Fiocco’s body.

Fiocco, 19, was last seen in the early morning of March 25 after returning to Wolfe Hall from an off-campus party. His roommate reported him missing to Campus Police about 36 hours later.

The following day, investigators found blood in and around the trash bin behind Wolfe. After a laboratory confirmed the blood was Fiocco’s, investigators started sifting through a 1-acre, 20-foot deep area at the landfill, which authorities believe received the trash from Wolfe.

All along, authorities have classified the search for Fiocco as a missing person’s case. They say the Mantua Township native may have traveled down a trash chute into the bin, even though a special camera sent down the chute found no traces of blood.

The office of Public Affairs at the College sent an e-mail out to the campus at about 4 p.m. today acknowledging that a “major development” had been made in the investigation. The e-mail also said that the New Jersey State Police confirmed that an official announcement will be made tomorrow.

Check signal-online.net tomorrow for updates regarding the case. The Signal will update the Web site as soon as official information is disclosed.

Additional reporting by Signal Staff Reports.