Family seeks word of missing Roane County man
PARKERSBURG — The ex-wife of a Roane County man last seen a year ago in Parkersburg fears the worst may have happened.
John Daniel DeMarino, 51 at the time of his disappearance, was last seen on Jan. 30, 2019, at Uncle Mike’s Bar on Seventh Street. Since then, he has had no contact with his family, friends or his two children, ex-wife Karen DeMarino said.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing,” she said.
DeMarino was in regular contact with their two children, Adreanna, 19, a student at Virginia Tech, and John Jr., 18, a senior in high school, Karen said. He never went for a long period of time without talking to them, she said.
“We feel like something happened to him,” Karen said. “Something bad.”
The last time DeMarino was seen alive or anyone had contact with him was at Uncle Mike’s, said Roane County Sheriff L. Todd Cole, who got involved in the investigation about six months ago.
He was there around midnight, Cole said.
“We can pretty well confirm the last time he was seen was at Uncle Mike’s Bar in Parkersburg,” said Cole, who interviewed an employee of the bar.
DeMarino ordered a beer, drank about half of it and got up, Cole said. The employee thought DeMarino went to the bathroom, but he didn’t return.
“That was the last time she’d seen him,” Cole said.
DeMarino was living in Richmond, Va., before returning to Spencer where he was living with his mother, Jane DeMarino, who died in December, Cole said. He divorced about five months earlier.
At the time of the disappearance, DeMarino was wearing a red hoodie and a green winter coat, tan khaki pants, brown work boots and a black beanie hat. He has a shaved head, dark brown eyes, is 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4, weighs 165 to 175 pounds, has a scar on the back of his head. He has a tattoo of a “XIII” on his right arm and of an arrow through a circle with three dots within it.
He was driving his mother’s car, a 2015 Ford Escape, which was found about four days later at Love’s Truck Stop in Conneaut, Ohio, Cole said. The car was unlocked and showed no signs anything was taken, he said.
DeMarino had a wallet, car keys and his iPhone X on him. It doesn’t appear he crossed into Canada, at least not legally, Cole said.
Cole is working with the Parkersburg Police Department, Spencer Police and other agencies. Anyone with information can contact those agencies or Cole at 304-927-3410.
Foul play has not been ruled out, Cole said. Perhaps the car was driven to Conneaut and abandoned as a ruse to take the attention away from something happening in Parkersburg, the sheriff said.
Rarely, with today’s technology, does someone disappear without leaving a trace, said Cole, citing 31 years experience with missing persons. For example, they make a cell phone call, he said.
However, the last such contact on DeMarino was a cell phone ping on the day of his disappearance from a tower near Elizabeth on a call originating from his phone, Cole said. After that, no activity.
While DeMarino told his mother, Jane, that he had his last pack of cigarettes, he had also made plans to attend a professional basketball game with his son, Cole said.
“He had plans,” Cole said. “He wouldn’t have purchased the tickets if he had been planning on disappearing.”
DeMarino was an outstanding athlete at Spencer High School where he was a basketball player, Cole said.
“He really didn’t have any kind of criminal history,” Cole said.
He never got into trouble with the law, Karen said.
The case has been entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, NamUs, which is financed by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Program, U.S. Department of Justice.
Jess Mancini can be reached at email@example.com