Carmine Gargano Jr.
Gargano, approximately 1994
Date and time person was reported missing : 07/10/1994
Missing location (approx) :
Brooklyn, New York
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
Age at the time of disappearance: 21 years old
Height / Weight : 6'2, 230 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A white t-shirt, blue shorts, white sneakers and a silver TAG watch.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian male. Black hair, brown eyes. Gargano's nickname is The Gorilla.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Gargano was last seen at approximately 12:30 p.m. on July 10, 1994. He was leaving his family's residence on Ridge Boulevard in the New York City borough of Brooklyn at the time; he planned to go jet-skiing. Gargano never returned home and has not been seen again. He was a student at Pace University in 1994.
Federal informants stated Gargano was murdered by John Pappa, a member of the Colombo crime family. A photo of Pappa is posted with this case summary. Authorities believe he had a disagreement with Gargano's cousin, Anthony "Tigger" Dellavecchia. Dellavecchia supported James "Jimmy Frogs" Galione, who was a member of the Luchese crime organization.
Pappa believed that Dellavecchia was involved in the murder of Pappa's best friend. Dellavecchia was reportedly protected by the Lucheses and could not be harmed without permission from the heads of the Mafia families. Pappa allegedly told others that he intended to avenge his friend's death by murdering Gargano instead.
Gargano was involved in a physical confrontation with Luchese associate Michael "Mikey Flattop" De Rosa at T-Birds, a Brooklyn area bar, in early July 1994. De Rosa was injured by Gargano in the brawl and reportedly told Gargano he planned to kill him as he was escorted outside of the establishment. Pappa allegedly believed that he could murder Gargano and the death would be blamed on De Rosa after the fight occurred. Gargano disappeared days after the incident at T-Birds.
Another Luchese member was indicted on unrelated charges in 1997, three years after Gargano's disappearance. The man told authorities that Pappa bragged about murdering Gargano in 1994 and said that his remains would never be located. Pappa was convicted of four Mafia-related murders in 1997 and is currently serving two life sentences plus an additional 65 years in an Indiana federal prison. Pappa continues to maintain his innocence in Gargano's disappearance. He has never been charged in the case, but he is considered the main suspect.
Investigators received a tip that Gargano was buried in the foundation of Sunshine Collision, an auto body repair shop in Coney Island, New York in 2000. A search of the property was conducted in May 2000, but was halted when the building became unstable. No evidence was located.
Gargano's family sent a letter to Pappa in prison in 2001, pleading with him to reveal the location of Gargano's remains. In 2012, a witness testifying at the trial of Colombo crime boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli said Gargano had been shot and beaten to death at Sunshine Collision. The witness said his body was ultimately buried at an industrial park near Farmingdale, New York.
Authorities had excavated the area, but didn't find Gargano's remains. Organized crime figure "Big Dino" Calabro was charged with Gargano's murder, but he was ultimately acquitted.
The Gargano family has received numerous threats throughout the years for continuing to investigate and publicize Gargano's disappearance, but they have not ceased their efforts. Foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved in his case.
Other information and links : ncy
New York Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
New York Police Department
The New York Daily News
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
October 12, 2004. November 24, 2014; Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: and Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map