Warren cops continue probe of body found in city motel

Staff report


Police are still investigating whether charges will be filed against the person or people who hid the body of James F. Pizzulo III inside a bed frame around the time he died of a drug overdose at a Mahoning Avenue Northwest motel.

Pizzulo, 32, of Adams Avenue Northwest, was found dead inside a room at the Best Western motel Aug. 29. A motel employee went to the room to investigate a smell and found Pizzulo’s body in a void between the mattress and the bed frame.

This week, Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, Trumbull County coroner, ruled Pizzulo’s death accidental, caused by a cocaine overdose. It took two months to complete lab work on Pizzulo’s body.

Police said in August that it appeared that Pizzulo had been dead for a day or more at the time his body was found and that Pizzulo had checked into the motel a few days earlier.

Police said Thursday that the case is still open, and detectives will try to determine whether anyone obstructed justice or abused a corpse by placing the body under the mattress.

The motel was being used for partying by a variety of people over several days, so it might be difficult to determine who moved the body, police said.

Pizzulo had been in trouble with the law several times and was sentenced to prison twice — for seven years in 2000 for aggravated robbery and felonious assault and for one year in 2009 for theft.

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