A Boston woman’s death under unusual circumstances less than 24 hours after meeting a man for a hiking date has been declared an accident, to the consternation of her family and friends.
The body of 31-year-old Angela Tramonte, from Saugus, Massachusetts, was found at approximately 4:40 p.m. by fire crews, near a home along the side of an Arizona mountain presumably trying to reach help. After resuscitation attempts proved unsuccessful, Tramonte was eventually pronounced dead at the scene. Phoenix police stated that they did not believe foul play was at work, and the medical examiner agreed, listing heat exposure as the cause of death, according to WBZ-TV.
Tramonte had reportedly been on a first date with Phoenix police officer Dario Dizdar hiking up Echo Canyon to Camelback Mountain peak in Maricopa County after the two had spent several months talking on social media. Dizdar reportedly stated that during the hike, Tramonte became ill and overheated, and went to turn back, while insisting that Dizdar finish the hike and take pictures that Tramonte could then share on social media.
Dizdar reportedly said that he agreed, and when he returned to the parking lot afterward, Tramonte was nowhere to be found, prompting him to call 911 and report her missing at roughly 1 p.m.
(Video: WBZ/CBS Boston)
Tramonte’s friends, however, believe that there is more to the story, and have called for a more thorough investigation of her death.
Prior to the release of the medical examiner’s conclusion, Tramonte’s friend Stacey Gerardi told CBS Boston:
“We want answers, we want justice and we want an investigation to go further and we want to see what this guy was really all about. As a first responder you’re supposed to help people. Why would you not walk her back down? Why would you continue to walk back up.”
Others expressed similar incredulity:
And without water? Who hikes in the AZ summer mid morning without water? It’s suspicious AF. She may have died of natural causes but his negligence was a factor.
— SPaige (@bmoved) August 28, 2021
Melissa Buttaro, another friend of Tramonte, also criticized Dizdar’s conduct on a GoFundMe she set up to return Tramonte’s body, written before the medical examiner’s report:
“Halfway up the mountain, Angela told this man, who is a police officer and first responder, that she was exhausted and couldn’t continue. She supposedly walked back down the mountain ALONE to the car while this man continued on by himself. He clearly has no regard for her safety. She went missing for hours and was found dead from heat exhaustion.”
According to ABC15, suspicions were fanned when Dizdar allegedly made contradictory statements regarding how intimately he did or didn’t know the trail. The Daily Beast reported that Dizdar had a history of being less than fully honest with the police, and was disciplined in 2009 for lying to police about his identity, giving them a false name and age.
Dizdar claimed he was a “local and did this hike all the time” said a fire department spokesman, who later rescinded the statement, saying that fire personnel “misunderstood” Dizdar. A Phoenix park ranger, however, claims that he was told the same thing by Dizdar.
This seems to contradict the statement given to police, that this was his first time at the Echo Canyon Trail, and that he got lost returning to the parking lot and even was forced to call an Uber driver to return him to the parking lot.
Buttaro’s GoFundMe had the following to say about Tramonte herself: “She was such a beautiful, kind, strong, good hearted woman who would do anything for anyone.”
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