Fourteen-year mystery may be solved - Missing Ridge student thought to be found in mob graveyard exhumation

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A 14-year search for a missing Bay Ridge college student may have finally ended with the discovery of a mob graveyard on Long Island.

Officials said that the remains of 21-year-old Carmine Gargano, Jr. could be among those rumored to have been interred in an unmarked mass grave in a wooded area in East Farmingdale.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been excavating the spot ever since a mob turncoat told authorities that this was where members of the Colombo crime family disposed of their kills.

On Monday, the remains of a body wrapped in a tarp had been found at the site, but the Suffolk County Medical Examiner had not identified the remains as this paper went to press.

By late Tuesday, no other remains had been found, officials said.

Investigators have been digging in the area since the middle of last week, hoping to find the remains of murdered Colombo capo William “Wild Bill” Cutolo and mob associate Richard Greaves. Both had been reported killed in the mid to late 1990s.

They are also hoping to find the remains of Gargano, who may have been killed by a Colombo mobster over a dispute with the young man’s cousin, Anthony “Trigger” Dellavecchia, according to the Charley Project, a website that profiles over 6.000 cold missing person cases.

Gargano, an accounting student at Pace University, left his parents’ Ridge Boulevard home at 12:30 p.m. on July 10, 1994, reportedly so he could go jet skiing in Plumb Beach.

Gargano never returned home and has not been seen again.

Over the decade that followed, FBI informants learned that he may have been a victim of an ongoing mob dispute between his cousin and Colombo soldier John Pappa.

Investigators have theorized that Pappa killed Gargano because the young man’s cousin may have played a role in his friend’s murder.

Pappa vowed revenge, but he couldn’t take out Dellavecchia, who was heavily connected with the Luchese crime family.

If he was to kill Dellavecchia, he would have needed approval of the mob bosses, officials were told.

Instead, he decided to take his revenge out on Gargano, who had just gotten into a fistfight with Michael “Mikey Flattop” DeRosa – another Colombo associate — at a Bay Ridge bar known as T-Birds.

Investigators have theorized that Pappa killed Gargano in the hopes of blaming it on DeRosa, who threatened to kill Gargano after their brawl.

Detectives also learned that Pappa had bragged about killing Gargano after the college student’s disappearance. He also reportedly said that no one would ever find the man’s body.

Pappa is currently serving two life sentences in prison plus 65 years for his participation in a slew of mob-related killings.

The cold blooded killer was reportedly a triggerman in the Colombo family war that left eleven people dead. He is also personally responsible for a half a dozen other slayings – including Gargano, according to the New York Daily News.

Pappa, however, continues to deny any involvement in Gargano’s death, despite repeated pleas from the college student’s distraught parents, who wrote to him in prison back in 2001, begging him to come clean.

“My heart doesn’t accept that he’s dead,” Rosa Gargano, Carmine’s mother told the Daily News back then. “But my head knows it.”

Mr. and Mrs. Gargano went as far as asking then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir to take a new look at their son’s disappearance during a 2001 town hall meeting in Bay Ridge.

With the exception of a rumor that Gargano may have been buried underneath an auto body shop on Stillwell Avenue – which ultimately turned out to be false lead — the case remained cold until last week.

“For Mrs. Gargano’s sake, I hope they do find the body of her son,” Michael Bachner, Pappa’s attorney told New York Newsday, adding that the federal government had no evidence to link his client to the 21-year-old’s murder.

“If they had proof, they would have indicted him,” he said. “This is basically a ‘Sopranos’-type story.”

Attempts to reach the Gargano family for comment were unsuccessful as this paper went to press.

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Reader Feedback

allie boy from elizabeth nj says:
what a low life pos this derosa ugly bastard too.
Aug. 3, 2013, 10:54 pm
Joey B from Brooklyn says:
Maybe he is,but he got pinched and nobody did nothing for him or his family when he went in, so he ratted on some other scumbags,when u go away if no one is lookin out for u,then u look out for yourself! It was gonna happen no matter what,if they got someone else in his crew before him,he would b in prison and that guy would be a witness and out of jail in W.P. right now instead of him. There is no loyalty in the game no more,it's every man for himself,these days it's either take a dirt nap or or be a federal witness,or if u have nothing to offer the feds..u go to jail. There's no real stand-up guys left,sadly...those days are over.Even the bosses are flipping!!
Aug. 16, 2014, 12:33 pm
Tommy g from Marine park says:
That kid should of stayed home stayed in school and get out of the town when he made money
Aug. 24, 2014, 11:26 am
heywood from da Bronx says:
Sorry mikey, your a snitch. You wanna be a gansta. You knew what that downfall was.your either gansta or snitch! you chumped out. You snitched
Jan. 15, 2015, 1:56 pm
toneknob from downtown says:
Snitch. Excuses, excuses, excuses...right at the end of that documentary deRosa brags about having "made a good life, in LA".... Wtf, he isn't as smart as he thinks he is.
March 7, 2015, 5:46 pm
Another DeRosa from Hells kitchen says:
Hey there was nobody to help my family so I had to look out for mine. I'm sorry the kid got killed but it ain't my fault. What not ask the "bull" he gets to pedal drugs And get federal protection. I miss the old days
March 21, 2016, 4:56 pm
johnny D. from Bensonhurst says:
A rat is a frckin rat no matter how you paint it ! How 'bout Johnny Boy? He took it like a real gangster, Cosa Nostra till the frckin very end, he never turned on his own! So Sammy the Rat Gravano and DeRosa who make up lame excuses for lack of " cojones," no frckin balls! I ask my self, how the these guys even get frckin made into Cosa Nostra? So sad to see the American Mafia made up of mostly "Lay-down" guys who'll frckin roll like a bowling ball first pinch they get !!!
Aug. 5, 2017, 11:51 pm
John from Staten island says:
I think its just like everthing in life its all fun until you get caught. Ive seen many men that became mice or you could say rats.
Oct. 8, 2017, 10:50 am
Unknown says:
Michael flattop Derosa was not an associate of the Colombo family he was involved with the luccasee family
Dec. 14, 2017, 7:43 pm
Will from Canarsie says:
First of all Mikey DaRosa was with the LUCCHESE crime family.Secondly,Mikey flipped cause they had threatened to kill a family member,his collections had stopped,nobody looked out for him and/or his family.So yeah he flipped,but he had several LEGIT beefs as to why he became a gov't witness or as they say in the mafia "A guess to the government".
All you guys runnin' off with ya mouth insulting him,would have done the same thing.
Feb. 17, 8:17 pm
Will from Canarsie says:
I also MUST say my condolences go out to the Gargano's.I can only imagine what they been through as the years have passed...especially the mother.Picture someone you LOVE leaving home to go somewhere,then all of a sudden,you never see or hear from them EVER again.
It must be hell and pure DEVASTATION for a family to go through this type of situation.
Feb. 17, 8:38 pm

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