HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – Amy Giordano didn't act like a woman preparing to abandon her life.
Three days before she disappeared, the 27-year-old woman filled out and dated a voter registration card. On June 7, the day before she was last heard from, a surveillance videotape shows her picking up groceries and baby diapers as boyfriend Rosario DiGirolamo pushes their 11-month-old son in a shopping cart.
But she was last heard from June 8, when she talked by phone to her 6-year-old son who lives with her ex-husband in New York City. Her 11-month-old, Michael DiGirolamo, was discovered the next day in a hospital parking lot in Newark, Del., a handwritten note pinned to his diaper calling him "John Vincent" and saying his caregiver had no job or health insurance. "God have mercy on me," the anguished note read.
On June 18, her purse was found in the back of her bedroom closet in her third-floor walk-up, still containing her wallet and ID. It also contained a full pack of cigarettes; Giordano was a chain smoker.
"I can't connect all these dots and come up with a happy ending," said her landlord, Mike Vanderbeck. "The only way to connect the dots is to presuppose something bad happened to Amy."
Vanderbeck identified the baby after an employee recognized a photo of the toddler on TV. The boy remains in foster care, according to Delaware police.
Giordano's boyfriend, who paid her $850 monthly rent though he was married to and living with another woman, hasn't been seen since June 11, the last day he reported for work at Conair Inc. in East Windsor.
Authorities say he flew alone to Italy on June 14, and did not use his June 28 return ticket. His car was found on New York's Staten Island but yielded no clues, said Casey DiBlasio, spokeswoman for the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.
Officially, Giordano is a missing person and DiGirolamo is a "person of interest" — someone the authorities want to question in her disappearance. He also faces felony child endangerment charges in Delaware because authorities picked up signals from his cell phone near the time and place the baby was abandoned.
Delaware State Police Cpl. Jeffrey Whitmarsh said Tuesday that someone who knows Giordano told them that "in the days leading up to her disappearance, there was an argument between the two about her leaving him." He said detectives have not confirmed that a fight took place. He would not say who made the claim.
Detectives returned to Giordano's apartment Tuesday to conduct tests on "trace amounts of blood" found inside, DiBlasio said.
FBI agents in New Jersey and Italy are working with Italian authorities to locate DiGirolamo, but so far all they know is that he flew to Milan without Giordano and hasn't flown out of Italy, said Special Agent Sean Quinn in Newark.
Giordano moved into the Hightstown apartment while pregnant with Michael last year. DiGirolamo, 32, who lives in Millstone Township with his wife and 1-year-old, signed the two-year lease and always paid the rent, said Vanderbeck. Giordano, who did not work or drive, depended on DiGirolamo for rides to the pediatrician and elsewhere, the landlord said.
DiGirolamo earned $56,000 a year as a computer analyst but was fired June 22 after failing to show up for work for nine days, Conair vice president John Mayorek told The Times of Trenton.
Authorities say his wife did not know about her husband's second family until police contacted her after DiGirolamo's disappearance. She turned down requests for an interview.
DiGirolamo has no criminal record, but according to property records obtained by The Times of Trenton, the house DiGirolamo and his wife bought in 1999 formerly belonged to Stefano "Steve the Truck Driver" Vitabile, the reputed consigliere of the DeCavalcantes — one of New Jersey's major crime families. Vitabile was sentenced last year to life in prison for his involvement in mob-related killings.
The DeCavalcantes' criminal enterprises have been considered an inspiration for the hit HBO mob drama "The Sopranos."
The FBI's Quinn said Tuesday that authorities have no evidence linking DiGirolamo to organized crime.
"As of now there are hints and allegations but no facts," Quinn said.