A Pennsylvania woman is accused of murdering her partner and keeping the pizzeria owner’s body hidden in their home for nearly two weeks while she had a hole dug in an effort to cover up the crime, prosecutors said.
On March 30, Anna Maria Tolomello, 48, was arraigned on charges that include homicide and evidence tampering in connection to the death of 65-year-old Giovanni Gallina, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said.
Phillip Gallina grew concerned after he hadn’t heard from his father and Tolomello told him he was away, police said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
From his home in Italy, the son contacted authorities.
Employees at the couple’s restaurant, Pina’s Pizzeria, told investigators they had not heard from or seen Gallina in a while and were not told where he was, police said.
After law enforcement executed a warrant on the couple’s Chalfont home on March 29, Tolomello allegedly claimed she shot Gallina in the head with a .38-caliber revolver in an act of self-defense after he choked her, police wrote in an affidavit obtained by the Inquirer.
Tolomello told officers she should have called them earlier, police said, and they found the victim’s decomposing body wrapped in a tarp in the master bedroom.
According to prosecutors, the murder suspect paid $350 to hire a contractor to dig a hole that was 7 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep she planned to bury Gallina’s body in and then have paved over.
Police wrote in the affidavit that Tolomello also asked a friend about incense and how to mask the smell of skunk in her garage.
“It’s something you would see straight out of the movies,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said of the “attempt to eliminate any evidence of his existence.”
Tolomello was being held without bail at the Bucks County Correctional Facility.
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