Skeleton found in Pittsburgh backyard identified as woman who disappeared in 1964 |

Skeleton found in Pittsburgh backyard identified as woman who disappeared in 1964

Natasha Lindstrom
Mary Arcuri
Natasha Lindstrom | Tribune-Review
Contractors found the bones of a woman while working on a deck in the backyard of this vacant house in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood on Feb. 28, 2018.
Contractors found the bones of a woman while working on a deck in the backyard of this vacant house in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood on Feb. 28, 2018. Natasha Lindstrom | Tribune-Review

Investigators have identified bones found a year ago in a Pittsburgh backyard as a woman who lived at the home in the 1960s.

A DNA match from a living family member shows that the skeletal remains belong to Mary Arcuri, who purchased the house with her husband, Albert Arcuri, in the early 1960s, Public Safety spokeswoman Alicia George said Thursday. The identification of her remains raises more questions as to how she died and why she was buried in the backyard.

Contractors found the bones and clothing of a woman on Feb. 28, 2018, while building a deck at a vacant house being renovated on Black Street in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. The bones were buried beneath a slab of concrete and bricks.

Retired Pittsburgh police Assistant Chief Therese Rocco, who previously headed the bureau’s Missing Person’s Division, told detectives that she remembered the Arcuri couple as her neighbors and friends some 50 years ago, George said.

Investigators learned that Albert Arcuri told family members in the fall of 1964 that his wife, Mary, had left him, police said. No missing person report was filed and police were not notified, George said.

“He stated that Mary had taken her clothing and personal items and left,” George said.

On Thursday, Rocco said she always doubted that story.

“I always felt — did she really leave? She was a good mother, he was a good father. I couldn’t understand why she never made any effort to communicate with them,” Rocco said.

“When (their daughters) got to a certain age, he told his kids that the mother had left, that she took off with somebody. That was the assumption — that she had left on her own,” Rocco said. “Nobody did anything — they did not report her missing, they did not become alarmed.”

Albert Arcuri died less than a year later, when the car he was driving crashed into the former Don Allen Chevrolet car dealership on Baum Boulevard in May 1965.

The bones and a DNA sample from a living family member of Mary Arcuri were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for analysis, police said.

Last week, a forensic analyst from the lab confirmed the bones matched those of Mary Arcuri, George said.

Rocco said the DNA sample was provided by the Arcuris’ daughter, Donna, who is Rocco’s goddaughter. Rocco has stayed in touch with her over the years.

“It was a tragedy,” she said.

The investigation continues.

Officials asked anyone with information about the case to call Pittsburgh police at 412-323-7161.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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.