PHILADELPHIA — Danielle Imbo, then 34, had known Richard Petrone, then 35, since she was fifteen years old. Though they had gone to different high schools in New Jersey (she attended Cherry Hill High School East while he was at Bishop Eustace Prep in nearby Pennsauken) Danielle was good friends with Richard’s sister, Christine. Danielle had a ”crush” on Richard, but he had been so consumed with playing ice hockey at the time, he hadn’t picked up on her interest. It wasn’t until much later that they rediscovered one another and became a couple, but by this time, Danielle had been married and divorced once. The man’s name was ”Joe Imbo” who had threatened Richard a few times over the phone but isn’t a suspect as of now.
It was a chilly night, February 19th 2005, when Richard Petrone and Danielle Imbo vanished, along with the pick-up truck they were driving. The disappearance was truly a mystery and still is. No phone calls to friends or family members, no ransom notes, no wreckage, no remains. After years of searching for the missing couple, the police say they have “zero physical evidence.” Despite extensive searches, Richard’s 2001 four-door Dodge Dakota pickup has not been located. Richard’s and Danielle’s credit cards and ATM cards have not been used since they walked out of Abilene’s that night. There has been no activity on either of their cellphones. Surveillance cameras that routinely record transactions at ATM machines showed no signs of either of them. Video cameras at highway toll plazas and river crossings have no record of Richard’s truck passing through that night. It’s as if they vanished into thin air.
“Not a lipstick, not a bag, not a shoe, not a car, not an eyewitness, not a tip, not anything,” Danielle’s brother, John Ottobre said.
They were last seen at Abilene’s bar and restaurant on South Street in Philadelphia, and Richard’s best friend Rick Bellezzi stated that the couple “left the club happy at about 11:45pm.”.. Many who knew the two of them stated they were NOT the type to up and leave without an explanation. They were very happy with there lives and all they had left behind and just wouldn’t walk away from friends and family like that.
A reward of $100,000 is being offered for any information that will lead to the whereabouts of Danielle and Richard, and police in Philadelphia and New Jersey as well as the FBI continue to search for the couple. But so far they’ve come up empty.
Danielle Imbo is an attractive brunette with hazel eyes and an infectious smile. Her friends agree that she’s “very smart” with a great ”personality and sense of humor.” One friend described her as a “very blunt” person, “a tell-it-like-it-is type of girl.” A few years before her disappearance, she sang in a rock band called the ”School Boys”, following in the footsteps of her late father, Johnny Ottobre, who in the 1950s had been the lead singer in a well-known doo-wop group called the ”Four Dates”. She has a tattoo on her lower back, a symbol of her astrological sign (Leo) inside a horseshoe of flowers.
Richard Petrone has two tattoos. One is of a clown which is located on his right arm, the other is his daughter’s name (Angela) tattooed on his left arm. He is described as being ”good natured and jovial” He has a stocky, solid build. He has brown hair, blue eyes and usually wears a goatee or a sculpted full beard. Richard is also described as layed back type of guy who liked occasionally drinking beer with friends and relaxing after a long week, a good personality, someone who loved his family and friends too much to ever leave on his own accord.
Richard and Danielle’s family miss them and want answers. Some fear the worst while others try to remain hopeful that one day they will get there loved ones back.
According to Sergeant Tim Cooney of the Philadelphia Police, “No one is a suspect and everyone is a subject of this investigation.”
The Mystery Remains as of 2012
For more information on this unsolved case and for additional photos, please visit: http://www.danielleimbo.com Any further information, please contact either Mount Laurel Twp Police Department at #856-234-1414, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office at #609-265-7105, NJSP Missing Persons Unit at #800-709-7090, or Philadelphia Police Department at #215-686-3013/3014. or NJSP Missing Persons Unit at #800-709-7090.