Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Vincenzo Ricardo (or Riccardi) was found

The Southampton Press ran this story.

If it weren’t for Hazel, Vincenzo Ricardo might very well still be sitting undiscovered, dead, in the chair of his Hampton Bays home—with the television still turned on, blaring white noise.

Last Thursday morning, the adventuresome 3-year-old beagle mix ran out of her gated yard and led her owner, Johanna Nemeth, to Mr. Ricardo’s home, tucked away on a flag lot off Wakeman Road. While retrieving her dog, Ms. Nemeth saw that a thick sheet of ice had formed over the front of Mr. Ricardo’s garage and called Southampton Town Police to report a possible water main break.

Upon their arrival, officers discovered something that has shocked neighbors and drawn the attention of international media....

“If it wasn’t for Hazel running out, they wouldn’t have found him yet,” Ms. Nemeth said as she petted Hazel. “It’s what you did,” she told the frisky dog. “You did a good thing, Hazel.”

And another mystery was solved. Until now I didn't know if his deceased wife was his only other family member. And there are more details about why the neighbors didn't do more.

In their brief contact with him, neighbors and town officials recalled Mr. Ricardo as a fiercely independent man. Neighbors said that despite his medical conditions—he was blind and suffered from diabetes—he often refused their help. And when Mr. Ricardo disappeared in December 2005, neighbors assumed that his family, which turns out to include only an estranged son, had placed him in a nursing home and left the house vacant....

Mr. Ricardo has an estranged son living in Nassau County who did not want to be identified.


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Jennifer said...

This could have been my dad. Literally.

Ontario Emperor said...

Some people are intent on slamming the neighbors, but I don't think that's warranted here. I haven't heard anything else about the son.