PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police say human remains found buried in a yard in Garfield last year have been identified as a woman who was last seen in 1964.
No missing person report was ever filed when Mary Arcuri went missing in the fall of 1964. According to investigators, she and her husband, Albert Arcuri, lived in a home on Black Street in Garfield during the early 1960s.
Now, the confirmation of the remains found in the backyard of the home in February of 2018 being those of Mary Arcuri raises other questions about how she died and who buried her in the backyard.
Retired Pittsburgh Police Assistant Chief Therese Rocco was close friends with the Arcuri family and remembers Albert saying his wife, Mary, had taken her personal belongings and left their home.
“The story we got at the time was that she left. And of course it was very difficult to believe she would walk out on her children. She had a boy and a girl,” said Chief Rocco, who is godmother to the couple’s daughter.
According to Rocco, when Albert died one year later, in 1965, it was because he chose to take his own life.
“That accident was deliberate. He rammed his car on Baum Boulevard into a building and it was determined that he had no reason to do that,” Rocco said.
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Fast-forward to February of 2018. It was a disturbing discovery for contract workers when human remains were found buried underneath bricks and debris in the backyard of the home where the Arcuris once lived.
“When you don’t know where a person is for a number of years and you don’t hear and there’s no indication that there’s a communication of any sort, you generally have to think the worst,” Rocco said.
She helped police make the connection to her goddaughter for a DNA sample. It was confirmed, the remains were that of her mother, Mary Arcuri.
“I never, in my own thoughts, believed this woman had left. And I could never, never believe that this man had any involvement in her disappearance,” Rocco said.
Investigators do not know and cannot speculate how Mary Arcuri died or who buried her.
The body decomposition was to the point of only bones. A source tells KDKA the bones were not damaged, or broken, to indicate any injury. Police do not have enough evidence to say this was a homicide. It could have been an accidental death for all they know. The only certain fact is that the remains are those of Mary Arcuri.
Chief Rocco told KDKA that has brought closure to the couple’s children.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Pittsburgh Police at (412) 323-7161.