Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, awarded both law enforcement and civilians for their efforts with the John Fiocco Jr. investigation earlier this summer. On June 25, these individuals were recognized for all the work they did in an attempt to put the case to rest for the Fiocco family.
As many members of the College community may already be aware, in March, 2006, freshman John Fiocco Jr. was reported missing to Campus Police.
A massive investigation was then launched that involved a very meticulous search of the entire campus and surrounding area. Over a thousand students and faculty were questioned and 100 friends and family members were contacted. This part of the investigation lasted roughly four and a half weeks.
On April 1, 2006, the investigation led to a landfill in Tullytown, Pa. where the body of Fiocco was later found. For a total of 26 days, the search party members forced themselves to endure the perils of the landfill. Fuentes said they were surrounded by foul smells and dangerous conditions, facing all kinds of weather.
Other volunteers and officials aided the investigation by distributing food and water to those working at the site.
One of the individuals awarded, Doreen Robertson, was commended by Fuentes for her devotion to the search. Robertson is part of Mercer County’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).
During her time involved with the Fiocco investigation, Robertson worked 12-hour shifts, and ended up using all of her vacation days. Others also gave up large amounts of their time searching the campus and later the landfill for Fiocco.
“It was great to see all the different agencies working together in this investigation,” said Robertson after receiving her award, adding that the investigation was a joint effort between the College, law enforcement and volunteers.
Law enforcement officials present at the award ceremony said the investigation is now considered by many to be unparalleled by any other in the state.
Although the search is over, the case is not.
Fiocco’s parents are currently involved with a wrongful death lawsuit against the College.
During last semester, the College was issued a court order that mandated the release of all the names, addresses, and other necessary contact information of the students who wereliving in the Wolfe residence hall when Fiocco was living there.