Rhode Island's Cold Cases



Update 2-13-2013: Jeri-Ann Richard Homicide added to Rhode Island Page 2.

This is a website about cold cases in Rhode Island. Current and former residents are encouraged to look it over, regardless of how long ago your moving company relocated you, to see if you may have any information on these cases. The purpose of this site is to start moving companies and people towards seeking justice for victims of crime, their families and to help locate missing persons. These are people's mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, friends and relatives. Please, see if you can help. If you have a case that you would like submitted please contact us at either of the email addresses below. Please send us a copy of any news articles regarding the case. We don't do this website for money and we are not an investigative agency. Many of our pictures and information are from sources such as the Providence Journal, Doe Network and the Charley Project. Special Thanks to Bill Malinowski. If you have any information about these cases you are asked to call Law Enforcement. If you would like to have a case submitted or have information to start moving companies closer to an answer you may contact us. Please submit a copy of a newspaper article confirming the case. You may contact us at the following page http://www.savagewatch.com/contact.html


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Questions Surround Death of Man who Left Providence Bar

Twenty-three year old Greg Hart's body was found in the Woonasquatucket River several days after he had gone missing from the Red Room Bar in Providence. He was last seen by a group of friends that March 14th 1:40 am in 2010. The Rhode Island Medical Examiner ruled that the Dedham, Massachusetts man drowned. There were reports that Hart was visibly intoxicated and left the Red Room Bar by himself. He was allegedly last seen downtown Sunday morning wearing a grey leather biker jacket, a green hooded sweatshirt, with black pants and black shoes. After Hart was reported missing, the Providence Police started a search for him. Instead, friends found his body less than a mile from where he was last seen. Providence Police do not believe that foul play played a part in Hart's death. His family disagrees and pressed for another autopsy. They believe that Greg Hart was in a physical confrontation and was murdered. The family is offering a $70,000 reward for information that may lead to information of criminal intent against Greg Hart.

Decades old Murder of West Warwick Woman Still an Active Case

Kathy Perry was twenty year old woman who had aspirations to become a hairdresser. Those dreams came to halt when she was found brutally murdered in the September of 1986. The West Warwick High School graduate had left her job at Ultra Finishers on Access Road in Warwick and was found murdered hours later. Her naked body was found in an area of Warwick near an industrial park. She had been bludgeoned in the head and a victim of homicide. It is possible that she may have known her attacker. Despite happening over twenty five years ago this is a very active case. With new technology available that wasn't around when she was killed, there is a possibility this case can be solved.

If you have any information about the brutal murder of Kathy Perry, please call Sergeant Frederick Pierce of the Warwick Police Department at 401-468-4261. All calls can be confidential. You can also email the Warwick Police at warwpd@warwickpd.org.

Mysterious Death of 17 Year Old Still Haunts Family Nearly Fifty Years Later

On November 28, 1964 the body of Benjamin Bailey was found on the shore of Lake Tigoue in the town of Coventry. His body was found by his brother and he had last been seen alive ten hours earlier. He had lived with his family at 59 West Shore Drive in town. His body was found fully clothed but his body was face down and partially submerged in the waters of the lake. He was found less than a half a mile from where he lived. Police reports indicated that medical examiner did not find any signs of violence on the body. It has never been determined how the young man died and he had not been reported missing by his family before he was found. Several youths were interviewed and said that they had seen Bailey between 12 and 1am early Saturday morning on Route 3 about a quarter of a mile from where he lived. If you have any information about this case please contact the Coventry Police Department at 401-826-1100 or via email at coventrypolice@coventrypd.org.

 

Bizarre Twist In Death of Family Man

The family of Louis James DeFusco always knew that he did not kill himself. The thirty-eight year-old Cranston businessman was last seen alive pulling away from a dock on the Warwick shoreline on Aug. 6, 1964. His boat was found the next morning, empty, about 300 yards from land. Twelve days later his body was discovered in the waters of Narragansett Bay near Prudence Island. When he was found, he had a ship's anchor tied around his legs. A first autopsy attributed DeFusco's death to suicidal drowning. In 2006, at the request of his family, a different Medical Examiner conducted a second autopsy. The Examiner concluded that a gunshot wound to the back of the head killed DeFusco. Prior to his death, he was the co-owner of the Folly Landing Marina in Warwick.

A family member has stated that they believed DeFusco's killing was mob-related and may have had something to do with his efforts to clean up the marina from mob and mafia linked individuals.

DeFusco's family has suffered for over 44 years and is looking for justice and answers. If you have any information about the murder of Louis James DeFusco please contact Detective Lesser at the Warwick Police Department at (401) 468-4250.

 

Who Killed Woman Found Behind Pawtucket Bar?

On March 13, 1991, Twenty-three year old Wendy Lee Madden’s body was discovered behind a local bar in Pawtucket named Jan’s Place (it has since been torn down). Wendy was an occasional patron to Jan’s Place and may have been there on March 11, 1991. Police are not sure of any other locations she may have been at prior to her murder.

Wendy left her house that night on March 11, 1991 to walk to the store to buy cigarettes and was seen in the area of Cross Street and Railroad Street on the Pawtucket/Central Falls town line at 11:15 PM. She was wearing a short black leather jacket, a black shirt, blue jeans, and cream colored leather boots.

If you have any information about Wendy Madden’s life or any circumstances surrounding her homicide, you are urged to contact Detective Sue Cormier of the Pawtucket Police Department at: scormier@pawtucketpolice.com, or by phone at: 401-727-9100 ext. 756. There is also a facebook page set up in her name “Wendy Madden.”

Woman's Homicide Still Unsolved Seven Years Later

North Providence Police have a cold case on their hands as they are still trying to solve the homicide of a woman in their town. Cynthia McKenna was found dead in her apartment on February 21, 2007 at 242 Waterman Avenue, Apartment #9. A friend went to check on her and found the forty-nine year old woman deceased in her bedroom. The Medical Examiner has ruled the death was caused by Asphyxiation and Law Enforcement believes she may have been dead prior to her discovery for two to three days. There is one possible clue as to who may have killed her. On February 18th at around 10:30 p.m. she had been seen arguing with a man in a silver pick-up truck in her apartment complex parking lot.

McKenna left behind three daughters who are looking for answers as to who and why their mother was killed. If you have any information as to who may have killed Cynthia McKenna please call the North Providence Police department at (401) 231-4533.

Does The Answer To A Fugitive's Whereabouts Lie At the Bottom of the Bay?

It was a senseless murder. 20 year old Jason Bass was stabbed to death by an enraged Adam Emery not far from the Rocky Point Amusement Park in Warwick. Emery and his wife Elena mistakenly believed that Bass had hit their car and drove off. At his wife's urging, a confrontation ensued several streets away and Bass was stabbed twice in the chest. It was later learned that Bass's car was not responsible for the damage done to Emery's vehicle. At trial Adam Emery was found guilty of 2nd degree murder. He was allowed out free on bail that same day on November 10, 1993. Hours later, his car was found abandoned on the Claiborne Pell Bridge. He and his wife Elena had gone missing. Adam Emery was now a fugitive from justice. Police theorized that the two had agreed to a suicide pact and had jumped to their deaths from the bridge. Other believed that the couple faked their deaths and had fled to Europe.

Almost a year later, a fisherman found a human skull in his fishing net just north of the Pell Bridge. It was confirmed to be the remains of Elena Emery. To date, Adam Emery's remains have never been found. IT is believed that he died that day with his wife and his body is on the bottom of Narragansett Bay. However, there are still some that believe he may killed his wife and made it look like he committed suicide with her. There are theories that he is in Europe or elsewhere even though his family has denied that in the press. The State of Rhode Island has declared Adam Emery deceased while the Federal Bureau of Investigation still considers the case an active investigation. Either way, the mystery of where is Adam Emery still remains.

Murder of Robbery Suspect Still Unsolved

Twenty-six year old Burrlliville resident Donald Abbott found himself on the wrong side of the law. He and four other men were charged with a 1.2 million dollar heist from an armored car in Pittsfield, Massachusetts back on April 9, 1991. Abbott’s luck took a turn for the worse when he was found dead, slumped at the wheel of his vehicle in August of 1993. He had been shot to death by someone from a passing vehicle. Abbott had agreed to testify against his partners in crime in exchange for a lenient prison term. It was a decision that may have cost him his life. The United States Government eventually succeeded in bringing those responsible for the armored car heist behind bars. Three men were convicted and plead guilty and helped the prosecution’s case. The masterminds of the heist, Bernard Kiley and Vincent Lattanzio are still serving time for the crime. Most of the money from the heist has never been recovered. The murder of Abbott to this day is still unsolved. If you have any information about this case, please contact the Rhode Island State Police at 401-444-1000.

A Suspicious Vehicle and then a Murder

Esscence Christal was a twenty-one year old woman from Providence and the mother of a six year old son. Tragedy took her life around 1:45 am on a Saturday morning. On November 26, 2011 she drove a car with two other individuals as passengers; Arney Hepburn and James "Smurf" Perkins. The three were on Broad Street in Providence, when a suspicious dark four door vehicle pulled up alongside the passenger side of their car and shot at them. The car that Esscence was in crashed into a tree and flipped over. She was pronounced deceased shortly after the incident. Perkins was injured in the incident and treated for minor injuries. Who targeted them remains a mystery. A family mourns their daughter and mother. If you have any information about this case you are urged to contact the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121 or (401) 243-6406. All calls can be confidential.

Assault Suspect Still on Loose

At 8:05am on February 19, 2009, a female living on Hope Furnace Road in the town of Scituate was assaulted by an unidentified male suspect. The perpetrator threw the woman on the ground but was soon frightened off by the victim's dog. It is believed that he had an accomplice and that they had planned to burglarize the woman's home.

The suspect is described as a white male around 30 to 35 years of age. He was around Five foot Nine inches tall and between 170 to 200 pounds. He had brown hair down to his shoulders and his complexion was pocked marked and full of acne. He also had an unusual reddish/purple blemish on his right cheek which could be a possible birthmark. This suspect was also described as having a strong diesel fuel odor on him. At the time of attack, he wore an olive green jacket and blue jeans. If you have any information as to who this suspect may be, please contact Lieutenant Craig W. Hawkins at the Scituate Police Department: (401) 821-5900. All calls can be confidential.

Providence Man Slain

On December 30, 2005, 32 year old Johnny Jimenez was found unconscious on Cornwall Street right near the Rhode Island School For the Deaf. He ended up the 22nd homicide of 2005 year in Providence. He had been shot and his 1997 LandRover had been taken from him. Police believe he had been killed elsewhere and his body dumped there. The Providence man who lived at 17 Burnett Street had talked to family members earlier that day. Police want to know who he may have been with that Friday afternoon and evening.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121 or (401) 243-6406. All calls can be confidential.


 

 

 

Christmas Day Murder Still Unsolved

Mystery Man On December 25, 2003, Roy Weber was found dead from a gunshot wound on the Johnston and Wales Campus in Providence.

The twenty-two year old had a tough life and was known to have been a drug user and a gay hustler. Hours before the discovery of his body, he was last seen on a video camera with a mystery man at the criminally troubled Cathedral Square Apartments. Providence Detectives are trying to find the identity of this mystery man. If you can identify this man or have information about this case, please call Shamshak Investigative Services at 1-800-422-0944 or the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121. For additional information about Roy Weber's murder click here.

 

Peaceful Place, Violent Scene

Lincoln Woods is a peaceful park located in Northern Rhode Island. It's a popular place for families, hikers, walkers and even rock climbers. On August 10, 2011, that changed when an abandoned car was found in a driveway about 200 yards outside the Twin River entrance to the park. Inside the trunk of the vehicle, was a grisly scene. A man shot execution style several times in the head, his hands bound behind his back. IT didn't take police long to identify the victim as Ronny Almonte who had lived in both Pawtucket and Providence, Rhode Island. Almonte did not have a criminal record. Police do not believe that Almonte's homicide is related to the shotgun murder of 26 year old Anthony Stone of Providence. Stone has died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen earlier that day. When he was found, he had handcuffs still attached to his wrists. Stone was a known drug dealer who had been arrested months earlier. He lived at 372 Broadway in Providence, which police believe he may have been shot. If you or anyone else has any information about this case, you are urged to call the Rhode Island State Police at (401) 444-1216.

Questions Surround Rhode Island Man's Death Weeks After Disappearance

 

Thirty-one year old Christopher Schmeller was reported missing by friends on September 30, 2002. On October 10, 2002 Tuesday morning about 10 feet down an embankment in a wooded area near the weigh station, his body was found. The Westerly Rhode Island Fisherman had died as a result of blunt trauma. The area was just off of Interstate 95 in Waterford, Connecticut and has had dead bodies left there before. The 1997 murder of 41 year old Rene Pellegrino was solved and Dickie Anderson was convicted in her murder. In April of 2002 the decomposed remains of 43 year old Philip Scaplen of Niantic was found and his death was never determined. There is no indication that Schmeller's case is linked to the other bodies found in the same area. Police from both Connecticut and Rhode Island have worked on the case and have labeled Schmeller's death as a homicide. A friend of his had reported that he was last seen at the Superior Court House in Wakefield and had been nervous about finding a ride home because of an individual he had feared was there at the time. The victim had in the past been arrested numerous times and has associated with a bad crowd.

If you have any information about the suspicious death of Christopher Schmeller please contact the Waterford Police Department at (860)442-9451 or the Westerly, Rhode Island Police Department at 401-596-2022.

 

A Taunting Phone Call Proves True As A Woman Still Remains Missing

"You will never find her." The caller told Charlotte Saulnier. The caller was referring to her twenty-seven year old daughter Katrina McVeigh. The mother of three disappeared from Front and Lincoln Street in Woonsocket in June of 1992. The family strongly believes that Katrina is deceased and knew her murderer. She had just gotten out of an longterm abusive relationship. Her last known address was 295 Second Avenue. Her brother has stated that he believed that she may have been buried on the banks of the Blackstone River in town. Sadly her disappearance is not the only case of disappearances and unsolved murders in the town of Woonsocket.

On March 17, 1994, 28 year old Meaghan Paul was found stabbed to death in her third-floor apartment at 233 North Main Street. According to an official with the Woonsocket Police Department, both Paul and McVeigh "lived in an environment of drugs and prostitution." Cindy Roberts went missing in July 2001 and her remains were found in a wooded area in the town of Lincoln. Most recently, Vicki Connolly who was thirty-three years old went missing on September 6, 2007. Her body was found two months later just off of Spring Lake Road in the Black Hut State Management Area in Burriville.

In 2004, Woonsocket resident Jeffrey Mailhot confessed to murdering three women from Woonsocket, two (Audrey Harris and Christine Dumont) have never been recovered. Mailhot is one of the few serial killers in Rhode Island history and is not believed to be a suspect in any of the other city's murders or disappearances. If you have any information about any of these cases please call the Woonsocket Police Department at (401)766-1212.

UPDATE: October 23, 2012. Burriville resident, Michael DuCharme, pled guilty in the murder of Vicki Connolly. The forty-six year old was a former friend of the victim and had an extensive criminal record. He has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for her homicide.

Christine Dumont Audrey Harris Serial Killer Jeffrey Mailhot

 

Murder of Mob Enforcer Still Unsolved

Kevin Hanrahan was a feared man, a physically imposing individual, he was often hired to beat up people, extort and murder. According to Providence Journal journalist Zachary Malinowski, Anytime there was a mob hit, Hanrahan topped the state police list of possible suspects.This included the unsolved murder/hit in a Federal Hill (Providence) Restaurant of Raymond "Slick" Vecchio in 1982. On September 18, 1992, he had dinner with a police informant and two other mob associates. He went to a bar called The Arch, where he told others he was expecting a big score. After leaving the Arch he walked down Atwells Avenue to go to a restaurant in North Providence. He was confronted by two men at the corner of Pequot and Atwells. One of them pulled a gun and fired three bullets into Hanrahan's head. Hanrahan died not far from where Raymond Vecchio had perished ten years earlier. Hanrahan's killers have never been found but at the time of his slaying the Patriarca crime family was involved in an internal war between the Providence and Boston factions.

 

Billboards in Woonsocket Seek Justice for Victims

It was October 28, 2008 when three individuals entered a building at 425 Diamond Hill Road. The three wore wearing hooded sweatshirts and two had masks. They knocked on the door of 23 year old Robert Jones and proceeded to shoot him in the torso. Afterwards the assailants fled the building leaving Jones to die. Jones lived in the apartment with his girlfriend and their infant child. Police believe that the trafficking of illegal drugs could have been a motive in his murder. Police have a suspect in this case.

This is not the first time Police in Woonsocket have used a billboard to get information regarding a victim of homicide. They used one for the murder of 17 year old Brandon Smith. The Billboard proved useful as Police have developed leads in that case but no arrests yet. In June 2008, Smith was shot in the chest at 45 Robinson Street. Like the murder of Jones, Smith’s homicide may also be related to the drug trade in town.

If you have information about this murder please call the Woonsocket Police Department at (401)766-1212

A Grisly Message From the Mob

Twenty-three year old Barry R. Kourmpates had been living the high life of crime. Strip clubs, fancy cars and money. He was burgler who with a couple of friends, specialized in breaking into peoples homes and stealing money from their safes. In March of 1993, her was paroled from prison after serving fourteen months for a conviction on breaking and entering charges. But he had bigger problems, than a record with law enforcement. It is believed that some of the money he had stolen was from people connected to notorious Rhode Island underworld figures. Rhode Island State Police said that on May 7th of 1994, Kourmpates was seen alive visiting various friends in Warwick, Central Falls and Providence. May 8th was Mothers Day in 1994 and a grisly discovery was made that afternoon Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, a human body badly charred. A medical Examiner later revealed that the deceased person had been shot multiple times and bled to death before being set ablaze. The body was of Barry Kourmpates and Rhode Island State Police theorize that his death was meant as a message, "Not to mess with the Mob". If you have any information about this case you are urged to call the Rhode Island State Police at (401) 444-1000.

Brazen Shooting of Cab Driver Still Unsolved

Jose Rodriguez was just trying to make a living in an occupation that is one of the most dangerous to work in. On July 16, 2007 the 42 year old married father of two children had picked up three men that day from Providence that day. He was later found with a gunshot wound to his head in his cab on Fuller Avenue between Sumner and Garfield streets. The next day Rodriguez succumbed to his injuries. Law Enforcement is hoping that someone saw what transpired because this crime occurred during the daytime. If you have any information about the murder of Jose Rodriguez you are urged to contact Detective Nichole Rave at 727-7411 extension 3123. There is a four thousand dollar reward being offered.

 

Justice in 1988 Murders of Two Young Girls Still Remains Elusive

Seven year old Michelle Norris was found murdered on May 30, 1988 on a wooded hill behind Brook Street. The young girl had gone missing four days prior from outside of the Captain G. Harold Hunt Elementary School in the small city of Central Falls. Norris had been beaten, raped and then suffocated to death.

Sadly Michelle was not the only young Rhode Island girl to be a victim of homicide that year. Ten year old Christine Cole of Pawtucket was found murdered on Februrary 28th on the beach at Conimicut Point in Warwick. She had been reported missing on January 6th, two months prior after she had gone to a nearby supermarket that afternoon.

Her murder is also unsolved. If you have any information about the Michelle Norris cases please call the Rhode Island State Police at (401) 721-2622 or (401) 721-2618.

For any information relating to the Christine Cole, please call Pawtucket Police Department Detectives Donti Rosciti at 401-727-9100 extension 737. Or you can call Dave Silva at 401-727-9100 extension 760.

Bones Found On Beach Don't Answer All The Questions Regarding College Freshman That Disappeared

The first year of college can always be an adjustment. For 18 year old New Jersey resident, Bryan Nisenfeld, it proved to be more that just that. On February 6th, 1997, the architecture major left a college class and seemingly disappeared. At first it seemed that the Roger Williams College student may have taken off, he had been homesick and emotionally upset. College officials notified Nisenfeld's parents six days later that their son was missing. It seemed through various reports that College officials and the Bristol Police Department thought that Nisenfeld ran away. Six months later a woman and her daughter were walking along Hog's Beach when they came across a boot with a human foot in it. DNA testing later revealed that the foot and a bone found nearby belonged to Nisenfeld. College officials and Bristol Police theorized that Nisenfeld may have slipped on some rocks and fell into the water or that he committed suicide by jumping off the Mt. Hope Bridge. However, Nisenfeld had received threats from a former Roger Williams College student that he knew during his first semester. It is not clear if Nisenfeld was friends with or romatically involved with this other male student. However, just days before Nisenfeld disappeared, this former student allegedly threatened him via a phone call to come back to campus and harm Nisenfeld. Suicide, accident or murder, we may never know. If you know anything about the death of Bryan Nisenfeld you are urged to call the Rhode Island State Police at (401)444-1000.

 

Execution Murder of Providence Doctor Still Unsolved

April 10, 2001 fifty-one year old Doctor Hani Zaki was found murdered in his bed at his home at 91 Prospect Street. He was shot in the back of the head. Zaki was a wealthy doctor who despite his millions also had trouble in his occupation. He had been suspended from practicing surgery for seventeen months and he had dozens of malpractice lawsuits against him. Besides the trouble in his professional life, the married father of two was alleged to have carried on several affairs and was also believed to be an abusive and controlling husband. The doctor's widow Deborah Zaki has been viewed by Providence Police as a suspect in is murder. There has been speculation about an affair she may have had as well as a prenuptial agreement that she had signed giving her a one-time payment of seventy-five thousand dollars upon a divorce. However, there has been no arrest made and there could be other people who may have wanted the Doctor of Egyptian ancestry dead. An angry husband of a woman he was involved with? A patient with a grudge? If you have any information about this case you are urged to contact the Providence Police Department at 401-272-3121.

Reward Offered in Murder of City Man

On August 29, 2008 between the times of 4:15 and 4:30 a.m., 63-year-old Carl Seebeck as shot to death as he was walked near 300 Broadway in Pawtucket. Prior to his murder, He was walking from his house to the Roosevelt Avenue bus stop after having stopped at a nearby Dunkin Donuts. He was on his way to work. There is a five thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Seeback's killer(s). Please contact the Pawtucket Police at at (401) 727-9100 extension 726 or extension 712.

Two Homicides Remain Unsolved in North Kingstown

It was February 16, 1980 when Joanne Lee Reynolds was found murdered in her apartment at 1185 Ten Rod Road. The apartments have been torn down but the 24 year old woman’s murder still remains unsolved. If you have any information, please contact Det. Urban at joannereynoldsnk@gmail.com or by phone at 401-294-3316 ext. 8212.

On Oct. 27. 1986, 19-year-old John Phillips was found a victim of homicide in the parking lot outside of 22 Austin Road. He had been at a house party the prior night viewing Game 7 of the Boston Red Sox- New York Mets World Series. It was only hours later that he was found deceased from a gunshot wound to the head. Various guns, ammunition, and knives surrounded his body as well as tire tracks that were made around the time of the homicide. The weapons had been stolen from the house where Phillips was partying earlier. The area where Phillip’s murder took place is now Swenson Granite. If you have any information about this case please contact Sergeant MacCoy and/or Captain Flanagan via e-mail at johnphillipsnk@gmail.com or phone at 401- 294-3316 extension 8201.

Federal Hill Shooting Still Cold Forty Years Later

It was August 12th 1973 when at 9:15 that evening, 42 year old Joseph Comella was shot to death. The Johnston, Rhode Island resident was shot just moments after he parked his car on Bradford Street. He was shot several times in front of the "Old Cantina" Restaurant on Atwells Avenue. The father of two was unarmed and died hours later at Rhode Island Hospital. The fatal wound was a gunshot to his stomach. Three teenagers were seen running from the area of the homicide but it is not known if they were considered suspects. At the time of the murder, Police believe Comella may have been shot from about two feet away with a pistol of unknown caliber.

Joseph Comella was a tough guy. He was an an amateur boxer in his youth and about two years earlier had been charged with simple assault on another man (unknown if he was ever convicted). The part of the city where his murder took place (Federal Hill) has had a few high profile mafia/mob hits up until the nineteen nineties. It is unknown if Comella's murder was an assasination.

If you have any information about this case, you are urged to call the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121.


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