ShareThis Page

Sharpsburg teen found after brief but massive search

| Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, 2:48 p.m.
More than 40 firefighters, police, EMS and other volunteers searched a half mile radius in Sharpsburg, including the river and railroad tracks, for a reported missing boy on Sunday, Aug. 13 , 2017.
Jan Pakler For the Tribune-Review
More than 40 firefighters, police, EMS and other volunteers searched a half mile radius in Sharpsburg, including the river and railroad tracks, for a reported missing boy on Sunday, Aug. 13 , 2017.

A 15-year-old Sharpsburg boy was found safe just before 2 p.m. Sunday, after Lower Valley police employed a massive search along the Allegheny River and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.

Gino DiPasquale, of Clay Street, was sleeping at a friend's house, he told his mother, who sat on the cement parking pad at the Sharpsburg Fire hall along Main Street while more than 40 emergency service responders searched for him.

“She woke up this morning and he was gone,” Sharpsburg Police Chief Tom Stelitano said. “She didn't know if he was distraught and walked away or what happened.”

His mother reported him missing at 11:53 a.m. DiPasquale's phone was active and ringing, but he did not answer. He made no fresh posts on Facebook, police said.

Aspinwall Officer Scott Bailey said police originally got a ping from DiPasquale's phone that put it within 1,000 feet of his residence. Allegheny County expanded the scope to 1,000 meters, leading Bailey to enlist more back-up.

Police from Sharpsburg, Aspinwall, Blawnox, Etna and O'Hara staged themselves at the fire hall and near the railroad tracks at the entrance to town, just off of 23rd Street.

Pittsburgh River Rescue, along with rescue crews from Blawnox and Etna, cruised the Allegheny River on boats and jet skis searching for clues.

Emergency personnel rode through town on fire trucks and ATVs, while others knocked on doors at homes of DiPasquale's friends.

“Just as one of our guys was pounding on the door, that's when (Gino) called his mother,” Stelitano said.

Stelitano said DiPasquale has no history with police.

“I don't really know him at all,” he said. “He's never been in trouble with us.”

He said the incident should serve as a lesson to other children.

“Listen to mom and dad and follow the rules.”

DiPasquale's mother was visibly relieved but didn't offer comment other to thank police and other personnel for their time.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or @tawnyatrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.