More remains found in missing mom search

March 25, 2008 4:30:39 PM PDT
Divers searching a Staten Island pond have found additional skeletal remains that may be those of a missing Mercer County, New Jersey, mother.

The remains were found today, a day after a torso was pulled from the water.

A lawyer representing a man accused of evidence tampering in the case witnessed the grim discovery of the "neck to pelvis" skeleton, which he watched police divers fish from a knee-deep pond off a remote highway service road Sunday.

The remains were discovered in the water next to a suitcase with "a gaping hole" and a "ratty garbage bag" but no remains inside, said the lawyer, George Vomvolakis.

The lead investigating agency, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey, would say only that skeletal remains were undergoing DNA testing and that results could several weeks.

Vomvolakis represents John A. Russo Jr. of Staten Island, a longtime friend of the married man charged with murdering his mistress and abandoning their child on a hospital curb.

Rosario DiGirolamo, 33, of Millstone, was charged with murder Thursday in the death of Amy Giordano and is being held in New York on $1 million bail. He is expected to waive extradition.

Giordano, 27, was living with the couple's son, 11-month-old Michael DiGirolamo, in an apartment above a nail salon when she vanished. DiGirolamo was paying the $850 a month rent and was frequently seen at the apartment by the landlord.

Vomvolakis said Russo provided information that led investigators to the pond, but he declined to be more specific.

"Based on his cooperation and their own investigation, they were led to this area on Staten Island," Vomvolakis said.

DiGirolamo and Russo met several years ago while both were working at a Brooklyn home improvement store, Vomvolakis said. He said Russo, 43, also knew Giordano and that they occasionally socialized.

Two days after Giordano disappeared, her son was found abandoned in a hospital parking lot in Newark, Del.

DiGirolamo pleaded guilty in November to reckless endangerment and child abandonment. The child is now in foster care.

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

DiGirolamo, 33, faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. Russo, 43, faces a maximum of 18 months in prison if convicted, they said.

Vomvolakis said Russo would surrender to police by the end of the week.