Parents of dead N.J. student sue cops

March 10, 2008 7:11:42 PM PDT
The parents of a 19-year-old student whose body was found in a Pennsylvania landfill after a frantic, four-week search are suing the state police for investigation records related to their son's death. On Monday, the parents of College of New Jersey freshman John Fiocco Jr. filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police, saying police were wrong to deny the family's request to see police reports concerning their son's death.

Police denied the family's request on the basis that the investigation is ongoing.

"All evidence indicates this was a horrible and accidental death. As such, the records requested are not criminal investigatory records and cannot be withheld based upon such an assertion," attorneys for the family said in the lawsuit.

State police maintain that the records should remain within the agency.

"Any records regarding a continued investigation will not be released under the Open Public Records Act," said state police spokesman Al Della Fave.

Last week, the family sued the college, accusing it of not securing its trash-compacting system.

Fiocco, a 19-year-old from Mantua, was last seen alive early March 25, 2006, in a dorm room after returning from an off-campus party where friends said he had been drinking.

State police, brought in to investigate nearly three days after Fiocco's disappearance, discovered large amounts of blood around the trash compactor at Wolfe Hall. By that time, the trash was on its way to the landfill in Bucks County, Pa., where the body was found.


Associated Press writer Angela Delli Santi contributed to this report.