South Carolina Remains Identified as Monroe County Man
The The Monroe County district attorney confirmed Wednesday human remains found in South Carolina are that of a missing man from the Poconos, Joseph DeVivo.
An autopsy is being done to find out how the 87-year-old man died.
The suspect is now locked up in a South Carolina prison.
The Monroe County district attorney believes Joseph DeVivo was killed in Monroe County and his body dumped in a rural area of South Carolina.
There is still much of this case that is not known as police continue investigating, but what is known is Rico Herbert of Stroudsburg will be charged with killing the retired elementary school teacher.
State police were back at DeVivo’s home Wednesday minutes after the Monroe County district attorney announced the disappearance of DeVivo had been solved.
“We believe he was killed here in Monroe County and his body was transported to South Carolina by the suspect,” said District Attorney David Christine.
That suspect is Rico Herbert.
“We were able to track his every move because he didn’t know that a cell phone is a beacon that lets the law enforcement community know if when where and why,” Christine added.
Police said DeVivo was last seen on February 23 at his Stroud Township home.
His body was found this week in South Carolina, not far from Charlotte, North Carolina. That is where earlier police found DeVivo’s car and Rico Herbert who police said also had DeVivo’s wallet.
It was a rural area of Lancaster County, South Carolina where DeVivo’s remains were found partially submerged in water near a riverbed, four miles from Herbert’s grandmother’s home.
“We know that Mr. Herbert had his eye on Mr. DeVivo as an older man, a vulnerable man, who had access to financial resources and like too many people, we allege he prayed on Mr. DeVivo,” Christine added.
The district attorney’s office won’t say is how Herbert knew DeVivo, only that the two knew each other for some time.
Newswatch 16 spoke with DeVivo’s son who said they never knew about Herbert.
“We are heartbroken to learn that our father and grandfather, Joseph DeVivo, is no longer with us,” the family said in a statement.
One neighbor who lives next door to Joseph DeVivo did not want to go on camera. She said she’s just too upset but said she loved Joseph DeVivo and left a bouquet of flowers outside his home just to show how much he meant to her.
“No one deserves what he had to experience. No family should ever have to go through what we have gone through during the past three weeks. Please keep our family and the families of all missing persons in your prayers,” the DeVivo family statement continued.
“I feel like the suspect, the attacker is a deviant. He was just preying on the weak. That’s what I feel is very sad,” said neighbor Carmen Valentin.
The autopsy was done Wednesday but there is no word yet on the results.
Rico Herbert is in a South Carolina prison waiting to be brought back to Pennsylvania to be charged with the death.
Right now the only charges he faces is receiving stolen property, but the district attorney said Herbert will be charged with one count of homicide.