Posted: 11:13 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Investigators: Body found in Lancaster Co. could be that of missing Pa. man

By Greg Suskin

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. —

Joseph Devivo, 87, was last seen being dropped off at his rural Pennsylvania home on Feb. 23.  Police in the town of Stroud believed he was likely murdered after a man was caught two days later in Charlotte with his wallet and driving his car.

On Monday night, Lancaster County sheriff's deputies, along with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and investigators from Pennsylvania, found human remains in an extremely rural part of Lancaster County.  The nearly-skeletal remains are believed to be those of Devivo.

"The remains were found along a road beside a driveway," said Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile.

Faile said 31-year-old Rico Herbert led them straight to the body near a creek bed in the woods off Mt. Carmel Road.

Herbert is the man who was arrested in Charlotte last month with Devivo's car and wallet.  Detectives in Pennsylvania have called Herbert a person of interest in the case but aren't talking about a motive for what appears to be a kidnapping and murder.  They won't discuss any relationship between Devivo and Herbert or if anyone else was involved in the crime.

Eyewitness News spoke to Herbert's grandparents, who raised him in Lancaster County.  Herbert went to Buford High School and later left the area to live in Pennsylvania.

"I just can't believe he'd be involved in anything like this.  There must be someone else involved, too," said his grandmother, Louise Herbert.

She also expressed deep sadness for the loss of Devivo.

"I feel sorry for his family and what they're going through," she said. "It's terrible."

"We just saw Rico last year," said his grandfather, James Herbert.  "He was here, and he came to our family reunion, too.  Everything seemed fine.”

An autopsy on the remains is planned for Wednesday morning in Newberry, S.C.  Channel 9 has learned that pathologists from Pennsylvania are flying in to assist in identifying the remains.

Herbert is in the Mecklenburg County Jail, being held as a fugitive from Pennsylvania.  He's charged with being in possession of Devivo's car and belongings.

He is not charged with murder.

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