2nd man charged in Giordano case

March 21, 2008 4:24:22 PM PDT
A second man has been charged in the case of a Mercer County woman who went missing last June and is presumed dead, authorities said Friday. John A. Russo Jr. of Staten Island, N.Y., is accused of tampering with evidence in connection to the death of Amy Giordano, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said.

Authorities refused to release details, citing the ongoing investigation. Russo is not in custody. Authorities said he has been advised of the charge and is expected to be formally served with the complaint in the next few days.

Russo, 43, faces a maximum of 18 months in prison if convicted on the fourth-degree crime, according to prosecutor's office.

A phone listing for Russo could not be found and it was not immediately clear if he had retained a lawyer. An after-hours message left for the prosecutor's spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

The charges against Russo were announced just one day after Rosario DiGirolamo was charged with murdering Giordano, 27, of Hightstown. Her body has not been found.

DiGirolamo, 33, who had lived in Millstone, and was married, was having an affair with Giordano at the time of her disappearance.

Giordano vanished last June two days before the couple's 11-month-old son was abandoned in the parking lot of Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., by DiGirolamo. The child was found with a handwritten note pinned to his diaper calling him "John Vincent" and saying his caregiver had no job or health insurance. The child has been in foster care since then.

According to authorities, DiGirolamo flew to Italy on June 14, the day that police in Delaware and New Jersey connected the baby to him and Giordano. He returned in early August and surrendered to police in Delaware on charges of reckless endangerment and child abandonment. He pleaded guilty to those charges in November.

Authorities declined to comment Thursday on what led to DiGirolamo's arrest on the murder charge, but said there is evidence that Giordano is dead. He was taken into custody at his parents' home in Brooklyn.

DiGirolamo faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted, Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini said.

He is being held in New York on $1 million bail, and no extradition hearing was immediately scheduled. Courts are closed on Friday for Good Friday.

DiGirolamo's lawyer, Jerome Ballarotto, said they are ready to defend against the murder charge.