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YPD combs Mahoning River for missing Avalon owner

Published: Tue, September 27, 2011 @ 3:04 p.m.


The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

James Donofrio


Youngstown police officials are in the Mahoning River this afternoon looking for James Donofrio, 64, owner of the Avalon Gardens bar and restaurant on Belmont Avenue.

Activity is centered under the Market Street bridge. Cadaver dogs are also being used.

Boardman police took the missing persons report on Donorfio at 9:41 p.m. Monday at Donofrio’s residence.

Police said relatives told officers that Donofrio left his Boardman home to go close the bar at about 9 p.m. Sunday. His wife realized he was not home at 5:30 a.m. Monday, reports state.

About 7:20 a.m. Youngstown police discovered Donofrio’s Land Rover abandoned under the Market Street bridge near the Covelli Center. A search by Youngstown officers and police dogs did not find anything else, according to records.

Donofrio’s wallet with credit cards, his briefcase and iPhone were still in the vehicle, police said.

Donofrio’s wife, Rosanne Donofrio, told police that she spoke to bar employees who said that her husband never made it to Avalon Gardens Sunday night, reports state.

James’ last phone call was made at 1:24 a.m. Monday to a long-time friend and the message said “This is James Donofrio returning your call,” according to records.

Police said the man who received the message thought the formality was strange because he had been friends with James since high school.

Anyone with information is asked to call Youngstown police at 330-742-8911 or Boardman police at 330-726-4144.

For updates, see Wednesday's Vindicator or check News Watch on Vindy.com.


1carago11(44 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Hope they find you and your OK Jimmy!

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2Leana(5 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Jimmy is my uncle and we are all hoping and praying for his safe return. If anyone knows anything please call the Youngstown Police.

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3valleynative19(52 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

This is very odd indeed!
Hoping and praying for a positive outcome to all this.

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4tburk1(30 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

@ Leana:
Wishing your family a happy, healthy return of your uncle. Hopefully he is found, safe and sound SOON!

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Anyone making a call to his phone and everyone called from his phone should be investigated . I trust that YPD brought in experts from the FBI to go over his vehicle . The vehicle may have been driven there by someone other than James Donofrio with the crime taking place elsewhere .

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6tburk1(30 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Uneducateddrone. What a horrible thing to say. Shame on you. What a miserable human being you are.

I continue to hope his family finds him safe and sound.

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7busy(12 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

@Stan...the YPD has not yet requested the help of the FBI. It has been a month. They are not doing much to find leads or help. It's a true shame that they are grouped in with teachers and fireman for the SB5....they have most certainly lost my vote!

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