Real Name: Angelo Anthony DeCompo
Aliases: Tony DeCompo, Mike Parker, John Parker, Tony DeSoto, Tony DeAngelo, Frank Carrillo, James Parillo
Wanted For: Assault, Questioning
Missing Since: April 1994
Details: Tony DeCompo is wanted for assault and questioning in a bizarre kidnapping case. During the week before Christmas in 1993, he arrived at a truck stop in Ocala, Florida, claiming that he could neither hear nor speak. Valerie "Val" Earick, a divorced mother of three, worked as a clerk at the truck stop. She felt sorry for him, especially after other truckers ridiculed him. Apparently, he took her sympathy for interest; she became the focus of his unwavering attention.
Tony told Val (through written notes) that a Gulf War combat injury had cost him his hearing and speech. He said he was stranded in Florida until his truck could be repaired. He also said that he was growing fond of her. Finally, he asked her to marry him; she refused the offer. However, she did allow him to stay at her house until his truck was back up and running.
On Christmas Eve, Val's mother Mary Daniel came for a visit. Tony scribbled out his life story for her. He claimed that his father was a Mafia kingpin, pressuring him to join the ranks. However, he wanted out. Val was not sure if she believed him. True or not, questions about the Mafia were pushed aside by a sudden crisis. The day after Christmas, Tony fell and bloodied his head. After the injury, his hearing and speech "miraculously" returned. Although Mary was skeptical of the recovery, his doctor assured her that such a recovery was possible, depending on the severity of the injury.
The next day, Tony claimed that the Mafia had a contract out for him. He claimed that the lives of himself, Mary, Val, and Val's children were in danger. Within minutes, he, Mary, and the children were out the door with little more than the clothes on their backs. They picked up Val at work and hit the road in Mary's brand new Camaro. They drove to Tampa where he claimed his father was located. He told them that his father could get the contract off of their lives.
In Tampa, Tony's father could not be found. Instead, Tony hustled Mary, Val, and the children from one motel to the next, supposedly just a step ahead of Mafia hitmen. He also had Mary withdraw money, which he used to pay for rooms and other purchases. Initially, he told her that he would reimburse her for the purchases. However, he later said that she would have to do this to keep them safe.
Meanwhile, Mary's husband Rick became worried about his wife and stepdaughter. Armed with a .38, he followed Mary's unusual credit card transactions to Tampa. While at a Tampa mall, Mary's bank card was seized by an ATM. Tony claimed that the seizure was proof that the Mafia had found them. Moments later, Rick was nearing the mall when he saw Mary's Camaro pull out of the parking lot onto the highway. He turned his car around and began to follow them.
Tony asked Val if anyone was following their car. Not recognizing Rick's car, she told Tony that someone was indeed following them. He told them to get their heads down, so Mary did not see the car. Rick was hoping to block them in if they pulled into a motel or gas station. At a turnaround, he tried to do just that, but the Camaro went around him. He made a split-second decision to stop the car by shooting at its tires. The shots missed, but the shooting convinced Mary, Val, and the children that Tony was telling the truth and that the Mafia was actually after them.
The incident apparently led Tony to change his plans. He released Mary and Val's children unharmed at the airport in Tampa. However, he told Val that they had been grabbed by the Mafia. For her, the worst was yet to come. She claimed that he dragged her across six states on a 2000-mile odyssey of terror. During the next two months, he became like "Jekyll and Hyde"; he beat her severely, sexually abused her, and forced her to steal as he took her from motel to motel.
On one occasion, Tony beat Val until blood seeped from her ears. That time, he brought her to a hospital. Fearing for her family's safety, she lied to the nurse and insisted that he had not beaten her. She felt completely under his control. Finally, on April 11, she felt the strength to cross him. When she called home from a hotel, she was stunned to learn that Mary was there and that her kids were safe. Only then did she realize that his Mafia horror story had been a lie from the very start.
By the time Tony came looking for Val, she had made her way to the local police. When police came to question him, they found that Tony had packed up and moved on. He has not been seen since. At this time, he faces only one charge of assault. However, police believe that, given his thirteen different aliases, he has probably left behind other victims and racked up additional offenses. He can be recognized by his more than two dozen tattoos, among them: a peacock, a shark, a skeleton holding a red rose, the names "Star", "Cricket", "Tamra", "Angela", and "Val".
One question underlies this bizarre case from start to finish: what was in it for Tony DeCompo? He didn't push a high-price scam; there were no overstuffed bank accounts waiting to be looted; in fact, there was nothing to steal but somebody else's happiness. Val claims that he did precisely that. She hopes that he will be stopped before he hurts anyone else.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 1, 1996 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Captured. After the story aired, DeCompo was located; in January of 1998, he was arrested in Virginia for threatening then-president Bill Clinton and sent to prison. His real name was determined to be James William Parrillo. He had committed similar schemes in the past; in 1988, he allegedly kidnapped a woman after claiming that the Mafia was after him. He pressured the woman to marry him and then raped her. He forced her to travel with him across the country until she finally escaped him in 1991. She did not report the incident to the police at the time.
In July of 1994, shortly after the incident with Val and her family, Parrillo showed up at a hospital in Daytona, Florida, claiming that he tried to commit suicide by overdosing on anti-seizure pills. He convinced a new nurse there to give him a ride to Orlando. During the trip, he claimed that Navy police were after him because he had gone AWOL. Three days later, he boarded a yacht in a Fort Lauderdale marina and held nine people there at gunpoint, in an attempt to steal it and take it out of the country. He surrendered after a four-hour standoff. However, at trial, he pleaded insanity and was acquitted.
It is not known if Parrillo was convicted of the assault charge against Val. In 2002, he was arrested and later convicted of helping a woman kidnap her children from their father. He was sentenced to three years in prison. In 2018, he was accused of kidnapping, beating, and raping a woman while they were hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail; this occurred over a period of several months. Shortly after she escaped from him, he was arrested. However, he was later released and was never charged in that case. Sadly, the woman passed away a few months later.
Sadly, Valerie Earick passed away in 2013; she was fifty-one.
- Tony DeCompo on Unsolved Archive
- Gunman tried to give
- She's Searching for Mr. Wrong
- Woman wants to find man she says held her hostage
- Gunman who seized yacht cleared by jury
- Leads At Last?
- USA v. Parrillo (1998)
- Kidnapped on the Pacific Crest Trail
- Kira and "Jim" on PCT - Timeline
- James Parrillo at Arrest Facts
- SitcomsOnline Discussion of Tony DeCompo
- Valerie Earick Obituary