A 48-year-old Delaware County man has been charged with the murder of a Drexel Hill man whose body was found — with a rope tied around his neck — in a Mount Moriah Cemetery crypt this year.
Michael Dimauro of Secane is also charged with conspiracy, gun offenses, and abuse of corpse in the death of David Rossillo, 33, who disappeared in December 2017.
Rossillo’s body was one of two found in a crypt in the closed Southwest Philadelphia cemetery when police went there April 3 to search for Keith Palumbo, 36, a Drexel Hill musician who had been reported missing in February.
An autopsy conducted by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office showed that Rossillo died from “homicidal violence in conjunction with multiple gunshot wounds,” according to the affidavit of probable cause in Dimauro’s arrest last week.
A witness who was not identified in the affidavit told police that Dimauro shot Rossillo in the cemetery, then “disposed of Rossillo’s body in the grave by tying a rope around the neck of the victim and dragging him over to the open grave,” the affidavit says.
Philadelphia police and the District Attorney’s Office did not respond to questions Monday about Dimauro’s arrest.
Rossillo was not positively identified as the second body in the crypt until late August, when DNA results from a bone sample confirmed the remains were his.
Dimauro remains in custody in a Philadelphia jail. His attorney did not return a call Monday. Rossillo’s family declined to comment.
Dimauro is at least the fourth person charged in the case. Michael DeLuca, an alleged member of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club and a childhood friend of Palumbo’s from Drexel Hill, is accused of fatally shooting Palumbo in DeLuca’s Southwest Philadelphia apartment in February. DeLuca, 39, is awaiting extradition to Philadelphia to face murder charges after court proceedings conclude in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he was arrested April 2 on charges of possessing an illegal handgun.
Three others with connections to the Warlocks — Buck Evans, 46, of Drexel Hill; Billy Gibson, 47, also of Drexel Hill, and Donna Morelli, 48, of Southwest Philadelphia — have been charged with abuse of corpse and related offenses in the disposal of Palumbo’s body.
Rossillo also “knew some people that were associated with the Warlocks,” Anthony Voci, homicide chief of the District Attorney’s Office, previously said.
The affidavit in Dimauro’s arrest does not specify the witness who talked to detectives. But court documents for Morelli’s arrest in the other case indicate she spoke to detectives on April 7, the same day the witness in the Dimauro investigation spoke to police.
Morelli lives across from the cemetery. Her attorney declined to comment Monday.
The unnamed witness told police that in December 2017, Rossillo and Dimauro went to the witness' home, and all three then walked into the cemetery. Dimauro told the witness to go back and get something.
The witness said that while at home, “he/she heard several gunshots coming from inside of the cemetery," the affidavit says. Shortly afterward, Dimauro returned to the house and said he needed help opening a grave.
The witness and another person, who also was not identified, then took tools from the home and went into the cemetery with Dimauro. While opening the grave, the witness asked Dimauro where Rossillo was, and Dimauro pointed to a dark grassy area, the affidavit says.
The witness told police that after opening the crypt, the witness returned home with the other person, a man. A short time later, Dimauro arrived and said that he had disposed of Rossillo’s body by dragging it to the grave with the rope.