December 5, 2012
LIMA — Viva Maria pizza owner Dominic Fricano has been missing for nearly a week now, with law enforcement and friends no closer to figuring out what may have happened to him.
Detectives from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office have checked more than 50 tips, but they still have no leads.
“We’re doing the same thing we would do with any [missing persons] case,” said Lt. Clyde Breitigan, Sheriff’s Office detective. “We’ve checked his financials. We’ve checked his phone. We’ve checked every possibility. We’ve issued some subpoenas for some records we want to look at. We’ve talked to a dozen different law enforcement agencies. A statewide broadcast was put out for him. A federal broadcast was put out for him, both him and the vehicle. It’s just standard missing persons stuff.”
Fricano, 55, hasn’t been seen nor heard from since Friday morning, after he left the Lima Mall pizza shop to run a brief errand before the lunchtime rush. He had the previous day’s earnings with him, likely intending to drop them off at the bank. He was driving a white 2004 Chevy Express, a cargo van. The van has not been located, either.
The FBI was notified about Fricano’s disappearance to “put out feelers for us in different areas that he has past history with,” Breitigan said.
He previously owned pizza shops in Ada and in upstate New York. He and his wife, Susan Fricano, had also managed a restaurant at the Lost Creek Country Club in Bath Township. At this point, the FBI isn’t actively searching for him.
Breitigan assured that they’ve been doing everything they can to try to find Fricano, even though everything they’ve done can’t be released.
“To go into every detail, I can’t. And I won’t. Because I don’t know whether there’s foul play or if he took off on his own. We just don’t have a clue,” he said.
An open group on Facebook called “Search for Dominic Fricano” (http://j.mp/TIFEIO) boasted more than 6,300 members on Wednesday and it’s growing quickly. But for Tammi Brown, a family friend whose daughter works at Viva Maria, she’s been frustrated because search parties have slowed since they began Sunday.
“We are still searching, but we’ve had a lack of response, so it’s disheartening,” said Brown, who’s led search parties around Delphos this week.
Fricano’s cellphone signal was last tracked in Delphos on Friday, so the search party decided to start looking in that area. She said there were about two dozen people searching along main roads and areas on Sunday, while only one person came to look on Wednesday. She wanted to continue the search toward Middle Point, but the manpower wasn’t there to do so.
“I refuse to give up. I just can’t give up,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t want someone to give up on me or my family.”