Real Name: Antonio G. Lombardi
Location: Westerville, Ohio
Date: August 30, 1990
Details: At 12:45am on the night of August 30, 1990, Cheryl Lombardi found her twenty-two-year-old son, Tony, shot to death in his bedroom in Westerville, Ohio. Although the police ruled his death a suicide, his family has found evidence that suggests that he was actually murdered.
Tony was a fun-loving young man who was close to his family. At the time of his death, he was dating three different women. He worked the swing shift at a baby food factory. On August 29, he did not show up there. Early the next morning, Cheryl found him dead. Investigators arrived at 1:15am and found that his car was missing from the garage; they presumed that it had been stolen by an assailant. On his bedroom floor, they found a .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol. On his bed was a single spent .38 caliber shell. In his pants pocket, they found a drunk driving citation. This led them to believe that he may have committed suicide over the citation.
They learned that Tony had been arrested two days earlier for driving while intoxicated. They also learned that Columbus police had impounded his car at the time of his arrest. In addition, he faced fines and possible suspension of his driver's license. This led investigators to believe that he killed himself instead of facing legal problems.
Tony's family does not believe that he committed suicide. Cheryl believes that he was in a struggle with an unidentified assailant. His watch was broken and laying on the floor. He had an inch-and-a-half gash over his left eye. He had a broken jaw and bruises. Also, he was discovered nude; Cheryl does not believe that he would want anyone to find him nude.
An autopsy determined that Tony had died several hours before Cheryl came home at midnight. She believes that the killer was still in the house when she arrived. She could tell that the light was off. She claims that forty-five minutes later, she heard a noise which led her to him. She claims that the light was on when she found him. She believes that the killer turned it on before he or she left. The police, however, claim that she did not tell them what she had heard that night, whether it be an environmental noise or a person leaving.
Tony's family claims that he was threatened multiple times prior to his death. They believe that one of the men that threatened him is the killer. However, the police claim that the threats were unsubstantiated.
A test was done on Tony's hands to determine if he had been handling a metal object prior to his death. It confirmed that he had handled a metal object. However, Cheryl claims that this can be explained because he worked in a factory with metal cans and objects.
Tony's family is also suspicious about the position of his body and the trajectory of the bullet. When Cheryl found him, two pillows were under his shoulders and his head was above the pillow. Investigators felt that the trajectory was consistent with a suicide. However, his parents found that the bullet hole was lower in the headboard than one would expect with his head above two pillows. His family believes that bruises on his chest were consistent with someone else holding him down before his death.
The police, however, are convinced that Tony's death was a suicide. The county coroner, the Sheriff's Department, and the District Attorney agree with this ruling. His family is certain that he was murdered and will continue to press for this case to be reopened.
Suspects: An unidentified man had been threatening Tony in the weeks before his death, and his family believes that this man is the killer. A neighbor saw him, who was driving a white pickup truck. Tony apparently had cut him off while driving. The man asked where he lived and he told him his address.
Another man threatened Tony by leaving a message on the Lombardis' voicemail. He said that he would shoot and kill him if he continued seeing his girlfriend. Tony told his father, Anthony, not to worry about the threat. His friend, Andy, tried to mediate, but the man said he still wanted to hurt Tony.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the March 16, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Anthony died in 2012 without ever knowing the truth of Tony's death.