STROUDSBURG — The neighbor of a murder victim from Monroe County says she had to be in court Thursday to see the man’s alleged killer.
That suspect, Rico Herbert, was sentenced in Monroe County court for an unrelated case.
We first heard about Rico Herbert when he was charged last year with the murder of a retired elementary school teacher Joe DeVivo.
Herbert was in court for an unrelated case and also in the courtroom was the murder victim’s neighbor.
“I just felt I had to be here. I have to be here for Joe and for his family,” said Diana Lamendola of Stroudsburg.
Lamendola lived next to Joseph DeVivo and says even though it’s been a year since the elderly man’s murder, she’s still bothered by what happened.
“It haunts my husband and I what happened to Joe that night. Was he, maybe trying to scream help for us? You know? It just really haunts us, what happened to Joe.”
In February 2012, Joseph DeVivo, a retired elementary school teacher, went missing. Weeks later, DeVivo’s remains were found in a rural area of South Carolina. His car, wallet, and cell phone were found with Rico Herbert of Stroudsburg.
Police believe Herbert killed DeVivo and then drove the man’s body to South Carolina where he dumped it.
Herbert is currently in jail on that charge.
Herbert was in court Thursday to be sentenced for stealing money from a local bar in 2011.
While he was being sentenced in that unrelated case, Lamendola sat in court in support for her beloved neighbor. Lamendola says she had a tough year losing two family members then thought about how Joe’s family never got the chance to say goodbye.
“We were able to be there with them when they passed away, holding their hand and talking to them. The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that Joe’s family did not get that chance. His family did not have the chance to say goodbye to him the way they should have been able to.”
We spoke with Joseph DeVivo’s family this but they had no comment.
Rico Herbert’s murder trial will likely be scheduled next year.