Rico Herbert of Stroudsburg is still behind bars in North Carolina after his arrest there, and investigators said he could be charged with homicide pending the results of the autopsy of Joseph DeVivo, 87.
A woman who knew Herbert for years said she was shocked to hear what happened
“He’s not a bad man, he’s not a beast, he’s not a monster and I miss him,” the woman said.
Keeping her identity hidden, a friend of Rico Herbert said she’s shocked to hear he could be accused of killing someone.
“He was a decent man. He does stupid things but people make mistakes. I am not condoning what he did in any way, shape or form because what happened was horrible.”
Rico Herbert was arrested on February 25 in North Carolina after police there found him with the car and wallet belonging to DeVivo.
DeVivo had been reported missing from his Stroud Township home earlier that day.
Herbert is locked up on charges of receiving stolen property.
Police later found DeVivo’s remains in South Carolina.
Police said Herbert could face homicide charges pending the autopsy.
“I just want people to know that people do care about him. I know I do, he’s got a family that loves him,” Herbert’s friend said.
Newswatch 16 found Herbert’s Facebook page, which lists pictures, including one of him holding a little boy, who Herbert’s friend said is Herbert’s son.
On his Facebook, someone left this post: “He killed my 4th grade school teacher, an 87-year old helpless man.”
Officials at East Stroudsburg Area School District said DeVivo taught at J M Hill Elementary for 27 years.
Court records in Pennsylvania show Herbert had numerous run-ins with police in Monroe County going back to 2005 to as recent at 2011.
Among the charges are burglary, criminal trespass, assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, theft by taking and receiving stolen property.
“He’s a human and people make mistakes and they do need consequences for their actions but he has heart, he has feelings,” the woman said.
Police believe DeVivo was killed in Monroe County and taken to South Carolina.
His body was left four miles from the home of Rico Herbert’s grandmother.