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Skeletal remains in submerged truck may be those of man missing since 1998

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 19. 2017 5:28PM

Skeletal remains found in a submerged pickup truck in the Androscoggin River may be those of a man missing since 1998, state police said. (New Hampshire State Police - Troop F)

A New Hampshire Fish and Game dive team dragged a pickup truck from the bottom of the upper Androscoggin River on Tuesday and found skeletal remains believed to be those of a man missing for 19 years, New Hampshire State Police said.

The state police Major Crimes Unit has examined the remains, and the state Medical Examiner’s Office will now be asked to make a positive identification.

State police said they have notified the family of Tony Imondi, a Berlin-area resident who was last seen leaving a horseshoe tournament at Bill’s Seafood in Errol on July 20, 1998.

State Police detective Sgt. Sheldon Belanger said Imondi, who was 26 at the time, was on his way home and likely drove his girlfriend’s 1996 Ford Ranger off the road and into the river.

“There’s no indication of any foul play, but at this point we’re dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s,” said Belanger, who has been searching for Imondi since 2002.

During previous searches, dive teams have combed the Androscoggin River and Lake Gloriette in Dixville. But the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s acquisition of a side-scan SONAR allowed the dive team to scan the river bottom and detect an image, Belanger said.

“Really, technology gave us a boost to help us accomplish this,” he said.

The location was about 1 1/2 miles north of Mollidgewock State Park in Errol, along a bend in the river.

He said the truck was covered in silt, and the only thing that a naked eye could have noticed would have been an odd shape in the river bottom. The truck interior was covered with silt, and police are sifting through it in a “slow, tedious process.”

Imondi grew up in the area, was single and worked as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. He was living in Milan at the time of his disappearance.

Investigators have always suspected he went off the road and into the Androscoggin, which parallels Route 16 between Berlin and Errol. But that is a long route, Belanger said.

Family and friends reported Imondi missing several days after his disappearance. An immediate search and interviews with relatives and friends gave no clue to his whereabouts, state police said.

Over the past month, detectives from State Police Troop F and the Fish and Game dive team focused on the area, which is just a few miles south of Errol.

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