Happy Scribe
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I'm your host, Ashleigh Flowers. And I'm Brett.

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And today, I want to tell you a story handpicked by our fan club members, a story picked because they like me, can't let it go. It's one of the most baffling disappearances we've ever talked about on this show, because in this story, not one, but two people, along with a huge truck, seemingly vanish into thin air right off a busy Philadelphia street. This is the story of Richard Patrón and Danielle Imbo.

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It was a chilly Saturday evening in Philadelphia on February 19th, 2005, 34 year old Danielle Imbo was having a nice night out at dinner with her best friend, Christine and Christine's mom. It was a little break from her day to day of being a working single mom. You see, things aren't exactly easy for Danielle at the moment. In 2001, she married what is now her soon to be ex, Joe Imbo, and by 2003 the two had a child together.

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Joe Jr.. Danielle loved being a mother from the second, Joe Jr. came into the world. She knew that this is what she was meant for. But parenthood wasn't as all consuming for Joe, according to Steve Volk in an article for Philly magazine, when Joe Jr. was still an infant and sick at the time, his dad left Danielle at home with the sick baby to fly to the Super Bowl. Watch and hang on, it gets worse. Not only was he not there to help his wife and his son, they were the farthest thing from his mind because on that plane ride, he met another woman.

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And when he came home, he announced to his wife that he was done leaving her and Joe Jr. for this other woman and heading to Georgia. Danielle and Joe separated and eventually they filed for divorce, despite the fact that Joe's whirlwind romance with this woman from the plane fizzled after just a few months. But even with the other woman out of the picture, the divorce was just never easy. From what I could tell Joe and Danielle had, I don't know, kind of this like yoyo of emotions.

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Like one moment they're arguing and Danielle and her family were like changing the locks on her house. Then in another moment, Joe asked Danielle to come back to him for a chance to make their family whole again.

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Now, some of the offers of reconciliation came from jealousy because during their separation, Danielle had started dating her best friend, Christine's brother, Richard Petrochem. Now, she'd known Richard for what felt like her whole life. But it wasn't until her separation that she actually saw him with these new eyes. They were a perfect match, both super and a music, both single parents, though Richard's daughter was a teenager at the time when Danielle had an infant.

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But that yo yo, that Joe was spinning, tangled and complicated the relationship.

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It was very on again, off again, especially in the moments when Danielle tried to make things work with Joe. And Joe planted himself right in the middle of Danielle and Richard, according to a number of sources he made threatening phone calls to Richard, telling him to stay away from his wife. Scott Flandreau at the Philadelphia Daily News reported that just before Thanksgiving, Joe called Richard at the family bakery where he worked and threatened to kill him with a baseball bat.

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And Christine told the same reporter, quote, He didn't want her, but he didn't want her to be with anyone else, end quote. Joe denies all of the accusations of threats. He says, yes, I called him. He even called me a couple of times. And no, we didn't like each other, but I basically just told him to back off, like, listen to just let us finalize our divorce and then do whatever, but like, don't complicate things.

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Now, whatever was said, threatening or not, the roller coaster of all of this was hard for Danielle.

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She was chain smoking down to like eighty some pounds and she knew she couldn't go on like this. So sometime in January 2005, she told both men it was over. She wanted to focus on herself and her son, and that was it. And for a while she held firm. Divorce proceedings were moving forward with Joe and her and Richard didn't even speak. Even when Valentine's Day came and went, Danielle stood fast in her conviction to stay single. So on that February 19th, when Danielle was out to dinner, she was in a good place.

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Joe had their son for the weekend so she could, you know, let her hair down a little with her best friend. But while she was out to dinner, her friend Christine gets a text from her brother Richard, and all of a sudden it's a little bit harder to stay away. Richard says that he's out having dinner at a bar and he's thinking of going to see a band later that night. Christine can't go, but Daniel's interest is piqued.

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A couple of drinks wouldn't hurt. I mean, it's her night to cut loose, right? So Christine drops Daniel off with her brother doing like, I'm sure a little bit of like a lighthearted Isarel sisters would do.

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Thank God I know where this is headed.

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But after Danielle and Richard meet up, the couple made their way to a bar on South Street called Abilene. There, the two met up with another couple who were friends with Richard Anthony and his fiancee, Michelle. Though this was the first time Michelle and Danielle were meeting, both Anthony and Michelle say that Richard and Danielle seemed perfectly normal talking, laughing, sitting close, even sneaking in a kiss here and there.

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So the night was great. Everyone was having fun around eleven thirty, 11, 45. Danielle says that she wants to call it a night. She has a hair appointment in the morning and her son is returning tomorrow. So she wants to be able to go home, get some sleep like she wants to feel top of her game. The next day Richard offers to drive her home since she was dropped off there. Now she doesn't live in the city.

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Her. Houses actually across the bridge in New Jersey, so I'm sure it wouldn't have been a cheap cab ride. I mean, there's that. And also they had a thing they haven't talked in a while. Might as well make the most of this evening, right? Oh, I'm sure. So Richard says goodbye to his friends and he even brags about how he found this, a great parking spot, really close so that they wouldn't have to walk super far in the freezing temperatures.

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Anthony and Michelle wave the couple off and continue to enjoy their Saturday night. The next morning, around nine a.m., Daniel's brother John arrives at her home to do a little handywork. John told the producers of Disappeared that he'd come over to fix a curtain rod that her son had pulled down. I mean, it'd be like a really quick project in and out. But the longer he was on her front doorstep waiting, the more he knocked on her front door, the more confused he got.

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I mean, she knew he was coming, right? Why isn't she answering the door? He calls her cell, but each time he dials, the call rolls right over to voicemail. John calls their mother to see if she's heard from Danielle. Maybe, you know, plans a change. She just forgot to tell him. And when he gets in touch with their mom, Felice, she says, well, I know that she was out with Richard last night.

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Maybe she just ended up staying with him. And this makes total sense to John. Nothing to worry about since she's likely not home. He lets himself in with a spare key just so that he can, like, get to work and get everything done while she's out. What he sees inside her house almost confirms what his mother suggested. Bed is on, slept in ashtray, completely empty, which for a chain smoker like Danielle, could only mean that she hasn't been there in a while.

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But just as John Combs, any fears that might have been swelling inside of him, Danielle's best friend, Christine, is realizing that something is very, very wrong.

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You see, Christine was also Danielle's hairdresser, the same hairdresser that she had an 11:00 a.m. appointment with that day, but Danielle never showed Christine knew her well enough to know that she would never just not show up without telling her she tried to phone Danielle. But just like John's calls, they go right to voicemail since she knew Danielle was with Richard the night before she tries calling her brother. But an unsettling feeling washes over her when her calls to him also go straight to voicemail.

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Christine calls her mom, Marge, to ask if she's heard from Richard. She knows that Richard is a big mama's boy. And Marge and Richard don't just talk on the phone every day. They talk on the phone every day, multiple times a day. But when she gets Marge on the phone, she's troubled to learn that Marge hasn't been able to get a hold of him either. Alarm bells start going off for the Patroni family. Marge sends Christine over to Richard's apartment to see if he's there now.

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Richard lives right above the family bakery, and that's where he spent most of his time. And he worked at the family business, lived upstairs. He's at home with his daughter.

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And Marge even remembers he's supposed to have a bunch of people over that day to watch NASCAR like he's got to be. There was his daughter home the night that he had gone out with Daniel? No. So when she was younger, his daughter lived with him full time. But as she got older, like, you know, pre-teen teen years, she went to live with her mom, but still saw her dad all the time. I mean, he was a super involved father.

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So that night when he went out with Danielle, his daughter wasn't at his place. And when Christine walks up to the apartment, she didn't even have to open the door before she knew that something was wrong. From the outside of his apartment door, she can hear Richard's dog barking like crazy, like poor thing. Hadn't been let out in hours. Now, when she gets inside, nothing is disturbed. But that neglected dog told the patrons all they needed to know.

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Richard didn't come home because something bad happened and he wasn't able to get home. The family starts frantically calling friends trying to track down.

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Richard Marje knows that he's supposed to meet up with Anthony last night, so she phones him to find out when he last saw her son. Anthony tells her that everything seemed normal with his friend and that he left shortly before midnight to go to Danielle's place. Now, the patrons don't have the same sigh of relief when they realized that they were together, because even if he dropped Danielle off or even if he hung out at her house for a little while, it didn't explain why he didn't go back to his place and why his cell is turned off.

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So Marge calls Danielle's mother, Phyllis, desperate to find her son. But when Felice tells her that they can't find Danielle either, the very worst scenario Marge has thought up is finally realized. Now, on the other end of the phone, Phyllis is now realizing that something is very wrong. Her daughter didn't just go stay the night with someone she is missing. So she and John meet up at Danielle's house to decide what to do before they panic to them.

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There's one more test, one more opportunity for Danielle to come home and tell them that this was all just a big misunderstanding. You see, later that Sunday afternoon, Joe was scheduled to drop off Joe Jr. with Danielle. John and Phyllis know that no matter where Danielle was or whatever could have happened to her, she wouldn't let anything stand in the way of her and her son being together. So when Joe knocks on Danielle's front door to deliver their son to her and she still isn't there, their hearts sink.

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Did anyone else, Joe, if he's heard from her. So they didn't actually, John told a number of media outlets that when Joe arrived, his first instinct was to cover for his sister. He said that he just took his nephew and he told Joe that Danielle was at an appointment and that she had asked John to be there to get Joe Jr., which to be fair, she did have an appointment and John didn't know any different.

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Right. So part of them must have believed that she could be coming back, right? Well, I mean, a small part maybe. But if I had to guess and this is a total guess because John has never explicitly said this, I would imagine that John didn't want to give Joe any kind of ammunition in the divorce. I mean, remember, it had been kind of a contentious and messy divorce. So saying like, oh, she's just not here to pick up her son.

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We have no idea where she is. Could be something that Joe might have been able to use against her if they were to, like, fight over custody, which I don't know if they were in any kind of custody fight. So it's late in the day at this point. And with no sign from either adult, both families come together to decide what to do. According to an episode of Vanished with Beth Holloway, despite family reaching out to police that first day, they're told that the authorities will have to wait 48 hours before they can treat this as a persons case.

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I know, but they can't just sit around and do nothing.

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So John gets in the car with Richard's dad and the to go out search. Themselves driving up and down, street after street, alley after alley, bridge after bridge, well into the night and into the next morning, I mean, they're looking for any sign of Richard or Danielle or Richard's big black truck, but their search is aimless and unfocused, not for a lack of trying, but just because there's no telling where they should even start their search.

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There are like three or four separate bridges that connect Philly to Jersey. And I mean, they could have taken any one of them. And really even more than that, like they don't have a starting point. Like, yes, they know the couple was at Abilene and Richard had a, you know, quote, good parking spot. But what does that mean? No one, like, actually saw where they had parked. And we think the end goal was Danielle's.

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But that's not to say that they didn't make any kind of stops in between as they drove in silence, looking out the windows, they paid extra close attention to bodies of water or ditches off the side of the road, assuming that maybe they got in some kind of accident and lost control of the vehicle. They kept thinking any second they were going to spot Richard's Dodge Dakota with that distinctive NASCAR sticker on the back window. But as Dawn approached, they had to return home empty handed at a loss for what to do until police would officially get involved.

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When law enforcement does get involved, they come in full force. Departments in both Philly and Jersey get involved and they even bring in the FBI for extra resources. And it's not what they find that so disturbing, but a lack of what they find. It's as though these two grown adults walked out of that bar Saturday night and literally vanished into thin air. They can't find a single witness who saw where the couple went or where Richard's truck was parked.

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OK, but this happened in 2005. What about security cameras? Was there anything around that picked up any traces of them? No, nowhere. I mean, 2005 doesn't feel like that long ago, but we're talking fifteen years. CCTV just wasn't what it is now. And here's the bizarre part for me. I found one article from the Tribune out of Scranton, Pennsylvania, that was written just a month after they went missing. And it said that law enforcement even pulled video surveillance from all of the ATM machines on South Street.

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That's the same like main strip of like bars where Abilene was, where they had gone into and they were looking to at least get verification on maybe what direction they walked, but they weren't able to capture any footage of them walking down that main street to their car. How is that even possible? Unless they, like, literally vanished into thin air?

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Well, so the only thing I'm thinking is that they must have turned down one of the side streets pretty quick before they would have walked past any cameras. But the fact that no one remembers seeing them means that they didn't stand out, meaning that they were acting totally normal. And to me, it likely means that they made it all the way to his truck and could have just driven away without causing a scene for anyone to remember. Making things even more difficult was the fact that all of the toll roads only charged or captured images coming in from New Jersey to Philly.

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So if they did make it to the car and they, you know, drove away and they were heading back to her house and say they did cross one of the bridges into New Jersey, there was actually no way for law enforcement officials to see that on camera or to see any kind of like transaction with the toll. So we have no idea if they made it and B, if they did, what time that was when police and FBI look at their cell phone records and their bank cards, they say that they were never used after that night.

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The money they had in their accounts never again accessed. Each family insisted to police that their loved one would never just take off without telling anyone. These aren't two lovers who ran away together. These are two responsible parents who both have kids at home and would never leave like this. So with that in mind, searches begin spanning across Philly and New Jersey, looking again for any sign of accidents. Marine divers are deployed to areas where cars possibly could have gone off the road into water.

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And while some cars are found, none of them are Richards. With each passing day, it becomes painfully clear to all those involved that they didn't leave by choice and likely there was no accident, which just leaves one other possibility. Someone intentionally made sure that these two never made it home that night. And when the question of who would do this is posed to each family, they each have someone very specific in mind. Today's episode is brought to you by thread up, I'm not really sure where my head was, but I was fully convinced that maybe you could wear her winter coat from last year, you know, when she was like one and a half years old again this year when she is racing towards a three year old mark.

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Get an extra thirty percent off your first order at threat up dotcom slash crime junkie. That's r e d yuppy dot com slash crime junkie for thirty percent off your first order threat up dotcom slash crime junkie for an extra thirty percent off today. Terms apply. The longer time goes on without their loved ones, the more each family becomes convinced that the other person is the reason their son or daughter is missing. What do you mean? Well, fingers start getting pointed.

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The disappearance seems, I mean, so clean, it almost feels professional. Like who can make two people and a truck disappear without leaving a scrap of evidence behind? So Danielle's family starts asking, what was Richard into? Did he have drug debts, gambling debts? Did he hang around a shady characters? Now, mind you, these questions are getting asked like three weeks, maybe a couple months into the disappearances. So kinda early. And it really upsets the patrons because they're like, first of all, are you kidding me?

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Richard wasn't into anything that he shouldn't have been. The guy worked. He went home. He took care of his daughter. He was doing all the things that he should have been doing. So, you know, they were just like, how dare you suggest that this is because of him? And they say, you know, second of all, if we're going to look at the two people who went missing, how about we take a real close look at your daughter, Chester, who was going through a messy divorce, like to then like this seems like maybe we should spend some time looking at Joe Imbo.

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And I don't really disagree with that thought. Like, there's this woman going through a super rocky divorce suddenly goes missing. You have to look at the ex, right? Totally. I mean, it's standard procedure. And really, all of the family members were interviewed and talked to, not just Joe, but of course, police did pay a little extra attention to him because of his current situation with Danielle. According to Six Action News out of Philly, Joe was even given a polygraph in the early days of the investigation.

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But authorities still to this day have never revealed the results. Did he have any sort of alibi like obviously had their son, but do we know where they were? He did have an alibi. So according to the reporter, Scott Flaneur, back in 2005, Joe EMBOSS says that he was in Toms River, New Jersey, with relatives and not just any relatives. A couple of the people there who are related to Joe were actually law enforcement. I mean, his stepfather was an NYC cop and his stepbrother was a Dover Township detective.

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So he says that he was there Saturday through the night and didn't leave until Sunday when he was supposed to return his son to Danielle.

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So it definitely could not have been him, not if his alibi was legit, which every source that I read says it holds up. Now, could people lie for him?

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Sure. But the bigger question here to me is, you know, was he angry enough to do something like this? Did he have enough to lose in the divorce? I mean, murder of your wife and this guy that she was dating is a huge accusation to leverage. And the truth is, I don't know. I don't think anyone knows. You know, little details came out over the years that paints Joe in a bad light. Like, one of the things that stood out to me is police told Danielle's family that Joe had gotten Danielle's voicemail password and was listening to her voicemail.

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Wait, when did he do this? You know, I don't know. So the timeline is a little unclear. It just got this, like, fleeting mention in Steve Volks article. And so it could have been before she went missing, you know, the night she went missing, after she went missing.

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It doesn't say, but I think it shows a pattern of control, possibly.

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Ultimately, these accusations tear the families apart and they each forge a path forward, working independently to reach the same goal. Authorities eventually do conduct extensive searches into Richard's background and they confirm what his family was saying all along. There's nothing there, nothing that would make him a target of anything nefarious. And as far as Joe, they never named Joe Imbo as a suspect or a person of interest either, though they make a point of saying that no one is ruled out.

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And Joe himself told Steve Volke in 2014 that the lead FBI agent on the case flat out told him that he didn't think he did it, but that he believed he was involved in some way. Now, Joe went on to tell Steve that the way people look at him has made him really bitter. He said, quote, There's only one person in the world that knows I didn't do it, and it's me, end quote. And he was right.

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There's no proof of anything, just suspicion and finger pointing. But a month out from their disappearances, that's all anyone had. Nothing tangible until John gets a call from a psychic. The psychic says that they can see Danielle. She's being kept in an old train boxcar near a bridge and she needs help now without even thinking. Twice, John jumps in the car and starts driving. Now, he calls police along the way who tell him, listen, this is a terrible idea.

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It's not safe. You don't know who made the call. You don't know what's waiting for you. Like, you can't do this. You can't go. But John says it's too late. I mean, he knows it's reckless, but what are his alternative state? And wonder if this person was right, if his sister really was in a boxcar and needed help, but that just wasn't an option for him. So according to the disappeared episode, the tracks are about 10 miles away from Danielle's house.

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And it doesn't take long for John to get there and jump the fence, looking in boxcar after boxcar after boxcar for his sister until police show up and eventually kick him out. It would be another six months before John would get his next glimmer of hope. And it came when the FBI called. They called both families and wanted to give them a heads up. Someone spotted a black Dodge truck in the Delaware River and they were going to be pulling it up.

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Now, the FBI wasn't 100 percent sure that it was Richard's or what they were going to find, but they didn't want the families learning about it on the news. So with bated breath, both families watch and they wait one hour, then two hours each minute, passing slower than the one before it. Three hours passed and the truck is still partially submerged. It takes four full hours before they get the truck fully pulled out of the water. And when they do, it's the license plate that tells them everything they need to know.

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The FBI had blasted that play all over the news for months. I'm sure family members could say it backwards and forwards. Why two, three, one nine, YFC two three one nine. But when this truck was pulled out of the water, the plate didn't match. The license plate would be something that would be pretty easy to change, though, right? You're right. And law enforcement knew that, too. So they ran the VIN number on the truck just to be extra.

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Extra, sure. But the VIN number confirmed what they already knew. It wasn't Richard's car. And just like that, they were back to square one and the families stayed at what felt like square one for 10 more years. What? Yes, 10, 10 years of not a single sighting, not a single hair, fiber, nothing, 10 years where Richard's daughter grew into a woman and had a child of her own, 10 years of Joe Jr.

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growing up and never getting to know his mother, 10 years of just not knowing. But something about the milestone breathes new life into the case. And a task force is assembled to look at it with fresh eyes and fresh perspectives. And what they do next knocks the family's socks off. At a press conference 10 years after Danielle and Richard disappeared, the task force declares that they believe this was a professional hit, a murder for hire plot, and that's how they will continue to investigate the case of a murder for hire plot.

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Where in the world did that come from?

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So that's the same thing the families wanted to know because this was the first time they were ever hearing anything like this. And let me tell you, things don't get less confusing or less complicated the more we know. So apparently rumors had started swirling about a known criminal named Robert Carey in 2010. He was arrested for his suspected involvement in a large scale drug operation. But before he could be properly tried, he hung himself in prison. Now, there were rumors at the time saying that before he died, he was going around telling people that he was somehow involved in Richard and Danielle's disappearance.

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And this rumor was that he had even left a note confessing to the killing. But the lead FBI agent told ABC Action News there was no mention of the couple in the suicide letter. So, wait, this press conference is happening in 2015 about rumors from five years earlier, back in 2010. Well, kind of. So they don't in the press conference tie it to those rumors. They just make this announcement that this is a murder for hire and this is stuff that people are kind of like piecing together later.

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Like all of a sudden these rumors start coming out about something that happened five years before the press conference. OK.

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Like what changed in those five years to make it valid and something to announce. So it's not totally known. Right. Because, again, surely the FBI agent would have known five years before he made this press conference that there's no mention of them in the letter. Right. But whether something happened then or something happened later by 2015, the FBI is convinced it's a murder for hire. And again, I can't tie it back to Robert Carey. And here's where things just get even messier.

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So in that 2014 interview with Steve Volke, Joe Imbo actually confirmed to him that around five ish years before the interview.

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So, again, this is interviews like 2014.

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So we're talking like 2009 ish 2010 or whatever. He confirmed that law enforcement brought a grand jury together and that in that grand jury, they called a number of people who were close to Joe to be interviewed. So, again, this is around the same time that those rumors are swirling around Robert Carey. Now, we all know grand jury proceedings are secret, so I have no idea what evidence they presented or if Joe was even the main subject of that, like it could have been that they were just reinterviewing everyone and some of them happened to be close to Joe.

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Like, we can't make assumptions, especially when you learn what happened in 2016. So although the announcement about the murder for hire was a bombshell and the revelation about Joe and the grand jury like kind of rocked everyone, nothing actually came from any of it.

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No arrest, not even as much as a person of interest. And then in 2016, the Imbo Patrón case heats up again in a bizarre way. So there was this trial going on in June of 2016. And the guy on trial was a man named Dr. William O'Brien. And according to George Anastasiya from Big Trial Dot Net, he was being charged with conspiring with a local gang to sell prescription drugs illegally. Now, what does this have to do with Daniel and Richard?

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You ask a great question because on the surface, absolutely freaking nothing. But in the middle of his defense, Dr. O'Brien, who was representing himself, introduced a videotape into evidence. Now, the video was an interview of a man named Patrick Rudnick, Tracey being interviewed by the lead FBI agent on the Imbo Patrón case. And this lead investigator is like pressuring Tracey to talk about the double homicide he committed and he urged him to, quote, get ahead of all the bullshit that's going to be coming down, because in order to help yourself, you got to clean this up.

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When did this interview take place? So, George, Anastasia's article was from June 2016.

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And it says that the taped interview was from, quote, back in July.

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So it would be the year before that, which would be 2015. But the trial was in 2016, right? Right. And this interview happened back in 2015. Yeah. Which again, interesting point. The interview that he's showing happened in 2015, same year that they made that announcement about murder for hire. So, yeah, 2015. Right.

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And I guess on the face, it doesn't really connect, but. It kind of feels like the police are looking for like Liwei into the trial or if this was a murder for hire, trying to connect it in some way, like we know that they weren't involved in drugs, but maybe this guy was involved yet. To be super clear, everyone who saw Dr. O'Brien play this video, like couldn't figure out what it had to do with the case.

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There's no direct link. And to your point, like police have already said, Daniel Richard had zero connections to like a seedy underbelly. No drugs like nothing like that.

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So if they're talking about Daniel and Richard, I almost wonder if, like, this guy was involved in multiple things. Do they think this guy, Tracy, killed them and completely separately was involved in this drug operation? And, you know, they're trying to get information on a murder, maybe offering him a plea deal in this drug thing. Again, none of that has ever come out. And Tracy denies any involvement in either double homicide. And so here's the snag, because in the video, he's asking about a double homicide, but he never specifically says who the victims are.

[00:33:18]

And while this FBI agent was the one in charge for Daniel and Richard's case, he was also investigating another double homicide in the area. This one of two men, Anthony and Michael. And honestly, when you look at Anthony and Michael's case, it makes a lot more sense that maybe this is the one that he's talking about because Anthony was actually in debt to Tracy and Dr. O'Brien for something like eleven thousand dollars.

[00:33:45]

So it would make way more sense for those killings to be the double homicide that's being referenced.

[00:33:49]

Yeah, it's like a much cleaner line. And Tracy was even said to have made threats to Anthony even coming over to his house the night before the murder to hurt him. But this plan was foiled.

[00:33:58]

So the theory was possibly he came back to shoot him and Michael the next day. Yeah, that makes so much more sense than it being Daniel and Richard. Right. Like, there's nothing connecting him to Richard and Danielle, as far as I can tell.

[00:34:11]

I guess my question is, why are they even being brought up in connection with these guys? Because there is nothing else. I mean, it's the only thing I can think of. All the authorities have said to this point is murder for hire. And, you know, these kinds of people, gang members who are running a prescription drug ring, those are the kinds of people we usually associate with a murder for hire plot. And I mean, realistically, they still could have been involved.

[00:34:36]

I mean, I can't help but think it would have taken a real professional to get rid of two people and a truck without a slice of evidence. So, I mean, it very well could be these people. Again, maybe he was going there in the interview and talking about Danielle and Richard. It makes sense that these gang members could have been involved in the actual execution of this murder for hire plot. What I don't know is who was behind the murder for hire plot because.

[00:35:02]

Right. Who hired them?

[00:35:04]

Yeah, that wasn't drug dealers. I mean, it's been posed that maybe someone wanted Richard's truck or maybe they were robbed in some other way. And I mean, that's possible. But to me, just seems like so unlikely. Can I throw out a wild theory real quick? OK. What if this wasn't a murder for hire or a robbery? Like what if it was a random serial killer?

[00:35:27]

I, I know how unlikely it sounds, but personally, I can think of at least one guy whose M.O. is just make people disappear, especially in couples girl.

[00:35:37]

It's scary how much our brains think alike. So, I mean, like you're obviously talking about Israel Keyes and. Yeah. So we'll probably do a little audio extra in the Fanclub on this, and I can dive into it a little bit more because I literally already went through his travel logs and looked into it.

[00:35:51]

So the is the story here is I can't prove or disprove his involvement either way.

[00:35:58]

And listen, I know we can't rule anything out. I mean, he got away with what he did for so long because in every murder he committed a, you know, random serial killer seemed like such an unlikely possibility. But obviously that's still the reality of what happened. But I guess I kind of rule it out because I keep coming back to that press conference in other Israel Keyes cases. I mean, they flat out knew nothing because there was no tips, no one saw anything.

[00:36:25]

Keyes made sure of that. But here police said that they've gotten tips, they've gotten leads in. All of that is what led them to the murder for hire theory. So they have something, something that we don't know about. Now, there's something that I just can't get over. What's up? So Richard and Danielle weren't even supposed to be together that night. I know the finger pointing with the families tore them apart, but I don't think that they're entirely wrong.

[00:36:53]

I think one of them was the real target. But which one of them, Danielle, didn't even get invited to meet up with Richard until she was already out.

[00:37:02]

If this was a planned thing against Richard or Danielle, I mean, it would have been a surprise to whoever did this, that there was two of them instead of just one. And I think the answer lies somewhere in the. Tales that we just don't have, the FBI is still working this case and they're offering a fifty thousand dollar reward for information on the couple's whereabouts or information leading to the arrest of those responsible for their disappearance. If you know anything about what happened to Richard and Danielle, you can call the Citizens Crime Commission tip line at two one five five four six tips.

[00:37:40]

That's two one five five four six eight four seven seven.

[00:37:58]

If you want to see pictures or source material for this episode, you can find all of that information on our website. Crime Junkie podcast, dot com. And be sure to follow us on Instagram at Crime Junkie podcast would back next week with a brand new episode. Crime junkie is an audio production.

[00:38:49]

So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?