Friday, October 28, 2016

Anthony G. Urciuoli Jr: Missing Since January 24, 2001

Urciuoli was employed as a server at the Dutchess Diner in Poughkeepsie, New York in 2001. He was last seen by his parents at his family's residence near the Galleria Mall on January 24, 2001. Urciuoli received a page from an unknown person and told his parents he was going to play pool with a friend at approximately 11:30 p.m. He has never been heard from again. Authorities were unable to trace the page Urciuoli received the night he vanished.
He occasionally played pool at Shark's in Fishkill, New York, but no one recalled seeing him at the establishment that night. Urciuoli's vehicle was discovered abandoned on January 26 at approximately 12:45 a.m. His uncle located the car at Spratt Park on Wilbur Boulevard. Urciuoli's wallet was inside the vehicle, which was locked. There was no sign of a struggle at the scene. Investigators stated that it appeared as if Urciuoli parked his car and departed with someone, but there is no evidence to suggest the theory is correct. Urciuoli often worked additional shifts at the restaurant and is regarded as an outstanding employee. His family members said that it is very uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning. Authorities are not certain if Urciuoli left of his own accord or if other factors were involved in his disappearance.


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance:
Missing Since: January 24, 2001 from Poughkeepsie, New York
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: October 7, 1969
Age: 31 years old
Height and Weight: 5'10, 130 - 140 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Dark brown to black hair, hazel eyes. Urciuoli's nickname is Tony.                                                      
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black down jacket and jeans.
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Missing man's case a puzzle since '01

Family keeps hope despite few clues


By Larry Fisher-Hertz

Poughkeepsie Journal
On a cold January night nearly three years ago, Anthony Urciuoli Jr. told his parents he was going out to shoot pool with friends and would be back in an hour or two.
No one in the family has seen him since, and police say they haven't been able to determine whether the 31-year-old Town of Poughkeepsie man is dead or just decided to leave town.
''I sympathize with the family -- it would tear me up if it were my son,'' town Detective Michael O'Dell said.

''There's no concrete evidence either way,'' O'Dell said. ''You can make a case that he's dead, and you can also make a case that he decided to run from something.''
Urciuoli's parents, Sandra and Anthony Urciuoli Sr., have tried everything they can think of to find out what happened to their son. They've offered reward money. They've hired private detectives. They've appeared on the John Walsh and Montel Williams talk shows, and they've consulted with psychics.

''We've learned nothing,'' Sandra Urciuoli said last week.

Parents determined
The Urciuolis say they won't give up until they find their son, dead or alive. They have increased the reward money from $50,000 to $100,000, and they are planning a candlelight vigil Sunday evening at Spratt Park in the City of Poughkeepsie, where their son's car was found two days after he disappeared.

''We're hoping the reward money and the publicity will convince someone to come forward,'' Anthony Urciuoli said. ''Someone knows what happened to Tony. This wasn't an alien abduction.''
O'Dell said he and other town detectives have run down more than 225 leads in the case and have kept all the information they gathered in thick police files.

He said police had placed dental records and other information about Urciuoli in a national database maintained by the FBI. Every time an unidentified body turns up anywhere in the country, they look for evidence it might be Urciuoli's.

''It's a mystery,'' O'Dell said, ''but somebody can unravel it. If he's dead, somebody killed him. If he ran, somebody helped him.''

Urciuoli's father said last week he had gone over the events leading up to his son's disappearance ''thousands of times.'' He said Tony told him at about 11:30 on the night of Jan. 24 a friend had paged him and asked him to go play pool.

He said he and Sandra went to bed shortly afterward. When Sandra got up the next morning and looked into her son's room, she discovered he wasn't there.

''Sandy woke me up and said, 'Tony never came home,' '' Anthony said. ''We still don't know why.''
A family member found Tony's 2000 Nissan Maxima in a parking lot at Spratt Park the next day, and police found the man's wallet in a console inside.

O'Dell said police searched the car the day it was found and checked for fingerprints and other forensic evidence a few days later. They failed to turn up any evidence to help them in their search.
O'Dell said police questioned employees and managers at the Dutchess Diner on Route 9, where Tony worked as a waiter for several years.

''Everyone there said he never gave anyone problems,'' he said. ''By all accounts, he was a hard worker, a responsible worker.''

Experts in missing persons cases involving adults say most remain mysteries for a long time, in part because police often do not begin looking for them for a few days, when the trail of clues is already cooling off.

Kym Pasqualini, president of the Nation's Missing Children Organization and Center for Missing Adults, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., said initial searches for missing adults often are postponed -- or police are not immediately notified -- because possible explanations are more plausible than in the case of children.

Family's efforts praised
Pasqualini praised the Urciuolis for their efforts to find their son.
''Many families can't muster the strength, but they have gone to every source you can think of to try to find some answers,'' she said.

O'Dell said while it is true the longer Urciuoli is missing the less likely it is he is still alive, there are cases of missing adults turning up long after friends and relatives could find any trace of them -- including a recent case in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

He said town resident Katerina Richter left the area in July 1999, and police were not able to find any clues about her disappearance after her car was found in Manhattan a few days later. She turned up in Pennsylvania 22 months later.

''That case proves such things do happen,'' O'Dell said.
The Urciuolis continue to search -- and to hope.

They have preserved Tony's room in their home in the condition it was the day he disappeared. His clothes hang in the closet, his shoes and boots remain paired neatly on the floor.
A boom box he got for Christmas a month before he disappeared sits in its original box at the foot of his bed.

And the family waits.

''You have to keep strong,'' Sandra said. ''You look out the window and pray you'll see him walking up the driveway."

How to help: Anyone with information about the disappearance of Anthony Urciuoli Jan. 24, 2001, is asked to contact the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department at 845-485-3666. Information will remain confidential.

On the Web: For information about missing persons gathered by the Center for Missing Adults, a division of the National Missing Children's Organization, go to the group's Web site at www.nmco.org.
Crime Beat, which explores law enforcement issues and cases worked by police in the mid-Hudson Valley, appears each Monday. To suggest a topic, call 845-437-4834. More Crime Beat stories are available at www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/projects/crimebeat.

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Missing Women Grab Headlines, but What About the Men?
By Catherine Donaldson-Evans
Published June 10, 2004

Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, Dru Sjodin and Audrey Seiler: All young women whose cases have gripped the nation, starting with their mysterious disappearances and — except for Seiler — continuing with the discovery that they’d been murdered.

Their faces and those of other women who vanished — more recently, Juilliard (search) student Sarah Fox, who was found murdered in New York City, and Brigham Young University (search) student Brooke Wilberger, who is still missing after disappearing in Oregon — have been splashed across front pages, flashed repeatedly on TV screens and posted over and over again on news Web sites.

But where are all the missing young men?

Though statistics from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) show there are currently over 3,000 more reported cases of missing women in the 18 to 39 age bracket than males the same age, they still don't explain why the public rarely hears about men who vanish.

“Males that are missing don’t get that coverage,” said Erin Bruno, case manager for the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA). “The dynamics of their case might not be enough for the media to grab it.”

As of May 2, the most recent date for which statistics were available, there were 15,182 active cases of missing females 18 to 39 years old versus 11,819 active missing male cases in that age bracket, according to the NCIC.

“Traditionally men are seen as the stronger ones, the ones who … can walk away,” Bruno said. “There’s that stigma placed on men. So they may be lacking in the coverage they’re needing.”

Anthony Guy Urciuoli Sr. of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has experienced and been upset by that kind of scanty attention on his son, Anthony Jr., who disappeared more than three years ago.

Though there has been spotty local and national coverage of Anthony Jr.’s disappearance, the media attention has been minimal — and authorities haven’t seemed to be giving the case much priority either, according to Urciuoli.

“I have called the stations — nobody bothers,” said the 61-year-old loan officer. “I’ve written e-mails to everybody and they don’t even get back to me. Has it been frustrating? Without a doubt. It’s an understatement.”

Anthony Jr. was 31 years old when he came home unusually early from his diner job Jan. 24, 2001, at 11 p.m., his father said. Half an hour later, he got a call from someone he told his parents was a friend asking him to shoot pool at a nearby hall.

But no one ever saw him at or near the pool hall that night, according to Urciuoli. Instead, Anthony Jr.’s abandoned car was found the next day, his wallet still in it, in a baseball field parking lot. No one has offered any clues or insight, and his body has never been found. The family has set up a Web site with information about Anthony Jr. and the case.

“It’s inconceivable that he would up and leave," Urciuoli said. "We haven’t gotten one nibble. Nobody, nobody, nobody will come forward.”

But in this age, media coverage is crucial to bringing in tips from the public. And those tips are often the keys to solving cases.

Urciuoli believes that if Anthony Jr. were a woman, the case would have gotten a lot more publicity and focus.

“If it was a gal, believe me, they would have covered it a lot quicker and a lot sooner,” he said. “They bring in the heavy hitters and then they have an investigation.”

He speculated the imbalance stems from the two-fold perception that men are stronger than women and women are more vulnerable and more likely to be crime victims than men.

“Most guys are thought to be macho. With gals, there’s the impression that they’re disadvantaged, that they can be preyed upon,” Urciuoli said.

Case workers say the male-female discrepancy isn’t for a lack of trying on the part of advocacy groups like the NCMA and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which now handles cases of people up to 21 years old.

“I faxed out a press release 10 times about missing adult males, but the media for whatever reason didn’t pick up on it,” said Bruno. “Often what the media looks for is that twist or turn. Sometimes, there’s just not that (element) and so the media doesn’t run it.”

Meanwhile, family members of men who have vanished but whose cases remain unsolved are upset, frustrated and yearning for answers and closure.

“It’s been more than three years and three months,” Urciuoli said. “Ever since he disappeared, I wake up every night at 3 o’clock. I’m on medication. I still go through nightmares. It’s very, very hard.”

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Missing man remembered 
Vigil held on site of Jan. 24, 2001, disappearance

Monday, January 28, 2008 
By Christine Pizzuti
Poughkeepsie Journal

The reward for information on Anthony Urciuoli Jr.'s disappearance has been increased to $100,000 - a small price to pay for a brother, nephew and son.

Urciuoli told his family he was going to meet some friends for pool the night of Jan. 24, 2001. That was the last time he spoke to his family before his gray 2000 Nissan Maxima was discovered the next day on Wilbur Boulevard, in the parking lot of Spratt Park, in the City of Poughkeepsie.

About 40 people attended Sunday's vigil in the same parking lot, which is where family members, who still long for closure, suspect Urciuoli spent his last living moments. "There's no closure. It's the same," Lisa Urciuoli, the missing man's sister, said. "Every year we relive that day."

Jerry Gretzinger, an uncle, said it's unlikely Urciuoli left town on his own accord since it was only days before his mother's birthday. "He and his mother were very close," Gretzinger said. "He wouldn't have missed his mom's birthday." He said it's been a difficult seven years, and the man's parents continue to suffer, especially through the holidays, which he said are empty without their son.

Anthony and Sandy Urciuoli, his parents, parked in the same spot where Anthony Jr.'s car was found, and distributed candles in the cold to the large circle of people who bowed their heads in prayer. Monsignor James Sullivan of Saint Martin de Porres Church, who led the vigil prayer, asked God to help family and friends and to be with them in this "storm of their lives."

Urciuoli's father said the turnout was encouraging.

"You can see that seven years later we still have support," he said. "But we still don't know anything."
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Parents keep seeking clues to find son missing 8 years

By Emily Stewart 
Poughkeepsie Journal January 12, 2009

Their son disappeared eight years ago, but Anthony and Sandra Urciuoli still pray one day he'll walk through their front door.The disappearance of Anthony "Tony" Urciuoli Jr. remains a mystery. Urciuoli Jr., a lifelong Poughkeepsie resident, was last seen Jan. 24, 2001. He was 31.

That night Urciuoli Jr. came home from his job at the Dutchess Diner on Route 9. Around 11:30 p.m., he said he was going out to play pool with a friend, said his father, Anthony Urciuoli. The next day, police found his gray Nissan Maxima near Spratt Park, in the City of Poughkeepsie. Since then, the Urciuolis have done just about everything to find their missing son. They hired private detectives, at $1,500 a week, for six months.

"All they said was that he was a good kid, and that there were no drugs involved," Sandra Urciuoli said. In 2002, the Urciuolis and their daughter, Lisa, appeared on an episode of "The Montel Williams Show" to speak with TV psychic Sylvia Brown.  They are offering a reward of $100,000 for any information on the case. But local police say the one tip they received this year was not fruitful.

"The case is still open," Detective Capt. Paul Lecomte of the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department said. "We're also checking databases constantly for any missing persons." Lecomte said the Urciuolis have done a good job bringing attention to the case. "It can't hurt, the more publicity that's out there," he said. "You never know when someone's going to read something or hear something." But Anthony Urciuoli is not happy with how the media has handled the case.

"If it's a girl, you get national coverage. If it's a guy, they don't pay any mind to it," he said. Each year, on the anniversary of their son's disappearance, the family holds a vigil in Spratt Park, near where his car was last seen. This year, the ceremony will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 25. Monsignor James Sullivan of St. Martin de Porres in Poughkeepsie will lead a prayer service. All are welcome to attend.

Last year, the vigil was held in the evening, but "everyone was freezing," Sandra Urciuoli said. She said around 80 people came, but she's not not sure how many will show up this time.

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Vigil marks 10th anniversary of missing man's disappearance

Shantal Parris Riley • January 30, 2011

On the night of Jan. 24, 2001, after coming home from work, 31-year-old Anthony Urciuoli Jr. told his father he was going out to play pool with a friend. He was never seen again.

The next day, his gray Nissan Maxima was located on Wilbur Boulevard in the parking lot of Spratt Park, in the City of Poughkeepsie. It was where about 50 friends and family members met on Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of his disappearance.

As they held hands in a circle next to the spot where Anthony’s car was found, Monsignor James Sullivan of St. Martin de Porres Church appealed to St. Anthony, patron saint of the lost, for aid in the search. “Oh gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, intercede for us and for Tony’s family, and bring our petitions to the throne of God,” he said. “Help those who are searching to find the answer to their search.”

The search, now in its 10th year, has yielded little relief for the Urciuoli family. “It’s been 10 years,” Anthony Urciuoli Sr. said. “Not 10 days, not 10 weeks, 10 months. Time does not erase the pain.”

Not a hint of what had happened to his son has cropped up in all of this time, Urciuoli said. He urged those in attendance to keep talking to their families and friends about the case. “Someone knows something out there,” he said. Sister Lisa Wilms said she knew that it was “foul play” that led to her brother’s disappearance. “I just know it in my heart,” she said.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Anthony Urciuoli Jr. is asked to contact the Town of Poughkeepsie police at 845-485-3666.

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