The body of a man missing for nearly a decade was recovered Wednesday afternoon, pulled with his vehicle, from a local Ohio pond. Anthony “Tony” Luzio Jr., 25, was reported missing following a Fourth of July party in 2005. An extensive search of the area at the time revealed no signs of what had happened to Mr. Luzio or his vehicle.
His family had continued to have hope that someday he would return to them, alive. Unfortunately, those hopes came to an end after a brief search of the pond located in Delaware, Ohio. There was no evidence of any crime or witness statements which led the searchers to this location. Instead, the pond was one of several bodies of water in the area selected to be searched because they were known to have water deep enough to hide something as large as a car.
The search team, funded almost entirely by private donations, utilized state-of-the–art sonar equipment to discover the vehicle. According to team members, the sonar alerted them to the presence of the vehicle within minutes of launching their search boat. Local authorities were alerted to the find and a fire department diver confirmed there were remains in the vehicle and that the car was the one which Luzio was driving at the time of his disappearance.
The car, with Luzio’s body still inside, was removed from the pond and has been towed to the local sheriff’s office. It will undergo a thorough examination to help determine how it came to reside at the bottom of the pond. Despite their disappointment at this tragic outcome, Luzio’s family members stated they were always aware that it was unlikely he would be found alive after this length of time.
His father, a retired sergeant with the Columbus, Ohio police department was quoted as saying, “we thought we’d be ready for the inevitable. But it hurts as bad as if it happened yesterday.”
Below is a report from 2005:
A Columbus police sergeant made a personal appeal to the public Friday in an effort to find his missing 25-year-old son, NBC 4’s Holly Hollingsworth reported.
Tony Luzio Jr. was last seen in the early-morning hours of July 4 at an acquaintance’s home not far from Rutherford Road off Sawmill Parkway in Delaware County.
Deputies have found no trace of Luzio or his car. He has not used his ATM card.
Luzio is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
He was driving a silver, four-door 2004 Honda Civic with license plate number DCA 5615. The car also has a Bush-Cheney sticker on the rear window and a Fraternal Order of Police medallion on the rear plate.