Danielle Imbo & Richard Petrone Jr.
Case #: 2005-0296
Danielle Imbo and Richard Petrone Jr. were 34 and 35 years old when they were last seen on Saturday, February 19, 2005 at 11:45 P.M leaving Abeline’s Bar on 429 South Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Danielle lived in Mount Laurel, NJ and was estranged from her husband at the time of her disappearance. She worked from home for a mortgage company and was the lead singer in a New Jersey rock band. Richard resided in Philly and worked at his family’s bakery. The couple had been involved in an “on again off again” romantic relationship that originally started when they were together in high school.
On the evening of Saturday, February 19, Danielle and Richard joined another couple named Anthony Valentino and Michelle McLaughlin, for drinks at Abeline’s Bar, who stated the couple appeared to be having a good time, smiling and kissing throughout the evening. They were even overheard making plans for the next day.
Witnesses stated the couple left the bar 15 minutes before midnight on route to Danielle’s home in New Jersey. They were seen walking on South Street toward Richard’s parked vehicle, a 2001 Black and silver Dodge Dakota pickup truck with license plate number YFH-2319 with a NASCAR sticker in the rear window. The couple and their vehicle have yet to be found.
Danielle was last seen wearing a jacket, a cream colored sweater, blue jeans and carrying a black purse. She is 5’5” in height, approximately 117 lbs, brown hair with hazel eyes with a tattoo of flowers on her lower back. Richard was wearing a gray Polo brand hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. He has a tattoo of the word “Angela” on his left arm and a tattoo of clowns on his right arm. He has blue eyes, brown hair. He is 200 lbs, and 5’9” in height.
Since their disappearance, there has been no activity on either of the couples cell phones or personal bank accounts, no use of credit cards or their E-ZPasses.
Danielle had a 2 year old son at the time, and Richard had a 14 year old daughter. Both Danielle and Richard were very close with their families and everyone seems convinced they would not voluntarily disappear. Danielle’s family first noticed something was wrong when she failed to show up to her hair appointment on Sunday morning at 11 AM. However, panic truly set in at about 3 p.m, when Danielle’s estranged husband Joseph arrived at her condo to drop off their son “little Joe,” and Danielle was nowhere to be found. Once everyone realized she was absent, the police were notified. Since authorities had to wait 48 hours to start an investigation, Danielle’s family began searching for the couple, combing the streets of Philly until the next morning. Friends and volunteers canvassed neighborhoods for 100 miles in every direction, distributing pictures of Richard’s vehicle. The Delaware river was searched and fields were dug up looking for any leads. Danielle’s brother, John even went so far as to pay a Camden Police officer $1,200 to take him up in a helicopter to try and locate the ruck. None of these efforts produced any help, however. Police found no evidence to indicate what may have happened to the pair.
Both Danielle and Richard’s families believe that the couple are deceased and were possibly slain. Authorities are still trying to determine who might be responsible and why.
Danielle’s estranged husband Joseph was questioned by Police and the FBI many times. According to Richard’s father, Petrone Sr, his son told him prior to his disappearance that he received several threatening phone calls from Danielle Imbo’s estranged husband. “He kept telling me, stay away from her, leave her alone.” However, Joe Imbo has a rock-solid alibi for the night in question. He was at a child’s birthday party 50 miles away, where his stepfather, a former NYPD Officer, and several active officers were also present and vouched for him being there. Joe has never formally been declared a suspect, because there is not enough evidence to take him into custody.
Since 2008, the FBI has been investigating this case as a possible murder for hire, but they have not named any suspects. They do claim however, that the culprit was a professional, as it was a “well-orchestrated act.”
Although Richard’s family denies this claim, a theory was produced that Richard may have been involved with organized crime. In 2016, The FBI pursued a possible link between Richard Petrone and the “Pagan’s Motorcycle Club,” which is a group known for moving illicit substances and being aggressive. A special agent from the FBI interrogated Pagan member Patrick Treacy and asked him about a double slaying, but Treacy denied everything.
The case remains unsolved as of June 21, 2021.
If you have any further information, please contact the Mount Laurel Police Department at 856-234-1414, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-265-7105, the NJSP Missing Persons Department at 800-709-7090, or the Philadelphia Police Department at 215-686-3013.
Adventures with Purpose looked into this case and searched several bodies of water to try and locate their vehicle. I’ll link two of their videos below.