Dario Dizdar is off the hook after the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner ruled Angela Tramonte’s death an accident. While the Phoenix cop was never officially accused of killing his girlfriend, Tramonte’s family and friends were adamant that there was foul play involved in her death.
According to the official case report, the cause of death of the 31-year-old Massachusetts woman was determined to be “environmental heat exposure.” The manner of death was listed as accidental, however, the full medical examiner’s report has not been released.
Dario Dizdar and Angela Tramonte went hiking on Echo Canyon Trail in Arizona on July 30 after reportedly talking through Instagram DMs for two months. The couple, who hadn’t met in person before, decided to hike for their first date during a heatwave in the state. Tramonte flew from Boston to visit Dizdar after meeting online.
On the day of the hike, the couple reportedly neglected to bring water. Tramonte, who was fatigued about midway up the trail, decided to turn back. The Phoenix cop, however, continued up the mountain. When Dizdar was finished, he returned to the rendezvous point but Tramonte hadn’t arrived.
Police found Tramonte’s body nearly four hours after they received Dizdar’s call. She had died near a local house and at the time, investigators assumed she succumbed to heatstroke. However, Tramonte’s family was not appeased by that conclusion.
“If somebody’s walking up a mountain and you’re seeing her in distress and she’s not feeling well and she’s exhausted – why wouldn’t you walk her back down?” Tramonte’s friend Stacey Gerardi pointed out when she heard the news. Gerardi was suspicious of the Phoenix cop. “Why would you continue to walk back up? It doesn’t make sense.”
Gerardi added that her friend had only been in Arizona for a day before she passed away. It had “not even [been] 24 hours. We want justice. We want answers. We need to keep pushing. That was my sister. We had 25 years of friendship.”
Stacey Gerardi set up a GoFundMe to raise money for legal fees. Gerardi intended to hire a lawyer to investigate the case more thoroughly. The fundraiser has since raised over $68,000. According to the GoFundMe page, when Tramonte was “halfway up the mountain, Angelo 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 by himself.”
The GoFundMe post continued, Gerardi writing that “there are many inconsistencies in the timeline and facts that just don’t make any sense. We just want justice for our friend.” As it stands, Dario Dizdar is not a suspect in the case. The Phoenix Police Department told reporters that it would not be pursuing a criminal case.
According to Dizdar’s statement, he was Angela Tramonte’s “boyfriend.” He explained that they had forgotten the bring water during the hike. He also said Tramonte got overheated while climbing the 2,706-foot peak. She then told him to press on while she headed back down Echo Canyon Trail. Dizdar explained that they planned to meet at the parking lot when the Phoenix cop was finished with the trail.
Police said in a statement that “[Dario Dizdar] told officers [that] during the hike Ms. Tramonte decided to head back down the trail [but] asked him to continue to the top to take pictures so that she could share them on social media.”
So far, there has been no evidence to support the theory that foul play was involved, despite Tramonte’s friends continuing to press the issue. Many people on social media have pointed out that Dizdar had lied to police before and that he was among a group of Phoenix officers named in Maricopa County Attorney’s Office’s “Brady List.” The list tracks law enforcement officials who have lied on the job or proved that their integrity is in question.