FBI on Renewed Effort in Imbo-Petrone Case: “The Idea Here Is to Start Fresh”

The Philadelphia magazine reporter who last year wrote about the missing couple revisits the investigation.

Federal investigators opened a new effort this week to find out what happened to Danielle Imbo and Richard Petrone, the couple who went missing 10 years ago after departing a South Street bar. As the February 19th anniversary approaches, a 10-person squad comprised of federal and local police are going back through all the evidence,

“The idea here is to start fresh,” says FBI agent Vito Roselli, who has been pursuing the case almost from its inception. “We’re looking at every tip, every lead, and we’re going to close off some possibilities and see what we’re left with.”

The task force includes four FBI agents, as well as detectives from Philadelphia’s cold case and homicide units and law enforcement agents from Jersey state, Mount Laurel and Burlington county. The case is among the most mysterious missing persons cases in the country, involving two single parents who both went missing along with a truck.

The 35-year-old Richard Petrone, who lived in Philadelphia, had been involved in an on-again, off-again romance with 34-year-old Danielle Imbo. That Saturday night, the pair had watched a band over a couple of drinks at Abilene’s, a South Street bar. They departed before midnight, telling friends Imbo had plans early the next day.

Petrone, a Philly resident, was going to drive Imbo to her home in Mount Laurel. But neither they nor the truck Petrone was driving have ever been found. In a story published last year, Philadelphia looked at the case in its entirety, including several leads and an interview with Imbo’s estranged husband, Joe, who denied any involvement in the couple’s disappearance.

In that same story, Roselli told Philadelphia that “every detective” has a case that haunts them, an open case they carry for years and want desperately to solve. The Imbo-Petrone case is his, and so he describes himself as “very grateful” for the new resources and attention, which he hopes might finally bring closure to the parents, children and loved ones Imbo and Petrone left behind.

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Previously: Without a Trace