A 48-year-old man was ordered held for trial by a Philadelphia judge Monday on murder and related offenses in connection with the discovery in Mount Moriah Cemetery of the body of a 33-year-old Delaware County man who had disappeared in December 2017.
Michael Dimauro, also of Delaware County, allegedly shot David Rossillo in the cemetery, then disposed of his body in an underground crypt after tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body to the crypt with a vehicle.
Rossillo’s body was one of two found in the crypt in the Southwest Philadelphia cemetery last April when authorities went to search for another missing man — Keith Palumbo, a 36-year-old Delaware County musician.
Rossillo was a prospect of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, according to testimony at Monday’s hearing by Donna Morelli, 49, of Southwest Philadelphia, who has strong ties to the club, considered an outlaw motorcycle gang by law enforcement authorities.
Morelli had been in a longtime relationship with a former leader of the club, Eric Martinson, who died in 2015. She also lives across from the cemetery and had been a board member of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, the nonprofit formed to clean and preserve the cemetery, which closed in 2011.
She has received immunity from the District Attorney’s Office in Rossillo’s case, but is separately charged with abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence, and related offenses in relation to the disposal of Palumbo’s body.
Morelli testified Monday that in December 2017, Dimauro, who was a friend of Martinson’s, and Rossillo came to her house and told her they were going to the cemetery. She said she then heard four gunshots, and hours later, Dimauro again came to her house and said he was having a hard time removing a lid from a crypt.
Morelli said she helped Dimauro open the marble lid by using a pole to pry it open. She said she never saw Rossillo’s body, but said that Dimauro later told her he had shot Rossillo.
She also told police Dimauro had tied a rope around Rossillo’s neck and dragged his body with a vehicle to the crypt, but on Monday, contended that “was hearsay.”
Municipal Court Judge Joffie Pittman III held Dimauro for trial on murder, gun charges, abuse of corpse, and related offenses.
Dimauro’s attorney, John Francis Rooney V, said after the hearing that Dimauro had “nothing to do with” Rossillo’s death or the disposal of his body. He said Dimauro knew people associated with the Warlocks, but did not know if Dimauro had been a member or prospect of the club.
During the hearing, Rooney contended that Morelli was the de facto leader of the local Warlocks. Morelli acknowledged that the official address for the Warlocks Motorcycle Club LLC is her home address, but she said she is not in charge of the club.
Rooney contended that Morelli had several problems with Rossillo and had said that he “has got to go.” She contended that what she meant was that he needed to be “kicked out” of the club.
Authorities have charged an alleged Warlocks member, Michael DeLuca, 39, with murder and gun offenses in the fatal shooting of Palumbo. He faces a preliminary hearing on those charges in June.