A couple from February of 2005 enjoying an evening out with friends on a night out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, seemingly disappeared without a trace. Danielle (Ottobre) Imbo and Richard Petrone Jr.’s location has been unsolved for years despite authorities following every clue they have come across.
Investigation Discovery’s documentary ‘Disappeared: Bridge Too Far’ chronicles the family’s search for the answers to this heartbreaking tale. Let’s learn more about the case, will we?
What Happened to Danielle (Ottobre) Imbo and Richard Petrone Jr.?
Danielle was a rock fan; she was a band member in her 30s and 20s. In the end, rock music became less of a priority since she had the birth of a son. At the time of the incident, Danielle was in a relationship with Richard Petrone Jr. Their families were close, and Richard, like Danielle, had a son of his own. The 35-year-old worked in the bakery of his family located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He was regarded as a committed, responsible, and loving father.
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On February 19, February 19, 2005, Richard, along with 34-year-old Danielle, headed to Philadelphia to have a drink with a group of friends at a club. At around midnight, well before the 2 am last phone call Richard and Danielle left the club. The bar was closed at the moment. Richard let people know that he planned to take Danielle to her home in South Jersey before returning to his Philadelphia home. But, the couple who was on and off was never seen for a second time. The authorities believed Danielle and Richard did not reach the desired destination. Richard’s car also vanished.
Are Danielle (Ottobre) Imbo and Richard Petrone Jr. Dead or Alive?
It was quite odd it was Danielle, and Richard had disappeared suddenly. Both of them had jobs, were very close to family, and possessed children of previous marriages. They weren’t ever heard of or seen after leaving the bar. Surveillance footage of the bridges crossing into New Jersey caught no trace of Richard’s vehicle from the night before. Additionally, their bank activities were abruptly stopped at the moment.
Investigators scoured the area and conducted an exhaustive search without any clues or evidence from the forensic side. Besides air and ground searches, police also combed the waters following theories about the couple’s deaths in a crash and the vehicle submerged by the water. But, authorities believed this was unlikely. As the investigation progressed, they concluded that it was a deliberate attack on Danielle Richard and Richard.
The federal authorities that looked into the incident did not find demands seeking ransoms or threats of extortion which suggests that there was no indication of kidnapping. However, the police did look into an eventual murder-for-hire scheme. Many stories circulated following the incident; there is speculation that Richard was a gambler and had to pay money to a dangerous person, resulting in a fatal hit. Another theory was that the husband of Danielle’s estranged wife, unhappy about the divorce he was planning to get, was hired by an unnamed hitman to get the couple murdered.
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The husband of Danielle’s estranged wife was not publically identified as a person of concern. However, authorities have stated that no one has been ruled out as a suspect. The FBI continues to investigate the matter and has searched for clues. Christian Zajac, the FBI agent in charge, stated, “We feel this was a planned crime. We must be open to any possible leads available. The leads we’ve discovered in the last two years support our belief that this was an act that is carried out through more than one individual.”
Family members were also hoping for more details to be revealed. The mother of Richard, Marge, stated, “Who are they protecting? A murderer? Someone has something…I don’t know what my loyalty to the people is. However, I hope people’s loyalty has changed over the years.” In the month of March 2022, Adventures with a Purpose, a search and recovery group, began working on the investigation. They took action on information provided by an individual and conducted searches at multiple sites near to that the Delaware River. At present, Danielle and Richard’s case remains unsolved and is unsolved.