The death of a Massachusetts woman while hiking a Phoenix mountain in July with a police officer she met online has been ruled accidental by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The brief report said 31-year-old Angela Tramonte’s July 30 death was due to ‘environmental heat exposure.’
Tramonte, who was from the Boston area, was in Arizona visiting Phoenix police officer Dario Dizdar for the first time in person after spending two months communicating with him on Instagram.
Despite foul play being ruled out in Tramonte’s death by the police, questions have been raised about Dizdar’s decision to let her go down Camelback Mountain alone while he carried on with the hike.
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Angela Tramonte, 31, died of accidental heat exposure on July 30 while on a first-date hike with Phoenix police officer Dario Dizdar, a county medical examiner ruled
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office issued this brief statement concerning Tramonte’s death
Tramonte was found unresponsive after hiking alone halfway down Camelback Mountain in 104-degree heat without water
Dizdar, who was said to have been untruthful in the past, reportedly made contradictory statements about his familiarity with the hiking trail, according to ABC15.
Authorities said as part of their first in-person date, the pair hiked Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain around 10.00am on July 30. Despite temperatures reaching 104 degrees that day, neither of them reportedly had water with them.
Phoenix Fire Department officials said Tramonte became overheated about halfway up the trail.
The woman asked her companion to continue to the top of the mountain to take pictures so that she could share them on her friends on social media. Dizdar complied and resumed the hike without Tramonte.
Tramonte went back down the mountain, planning to return to the car and wait for Dizdar.
When he returned to the parking lot, Dizdar said Tramonte was nowhere to be found and he called emergency services to report her missing at 1pm.
At around 4.40pm, fire crews found her unconscious near a home along the side of the mountain as she was apparently trying to get help.
Dizdar is seen near the hiking trail after cops responded to his call about Tramonte
Tramonte’s body was found near a home at the base of the mountain (pictured), and authorities believe she was trying to reach the home to get some help
Tramonte could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene. Phoenix police said foul play was not suspected.
Tramonte’s friends have called for a thorough investigation into her death and Dizdar’s conduct.
‘We want answers, we want justice and we want an investigation to go further and we want to see what this guy was really all about,’ Stacey Gerardi told CBS Boston prior to the release of the medical examiner’s conclusion.
The friends’ suspicions were exacerbated by the revelation that Dizdar – who joined the Phoenix Police Department in 2007 – has a history of being untruthful to cops, the Daily Beast reported.
The outlet obtained documents which showed Dizdar was disciplined in 2009 after he lied to cops about who he was during a criminal investigation and gave them a false name and age.
ABC15 reported that after Tramonte’s death, Dizdar told a park ranger that ‘he was a local and did this hike all the time.’
Tramonte (left) had traveled to Arizona from Massachusetts to meet Dizdar (right) in person for the first time after talking to him via Instagram for two months
The off-duty cop also allegedly made a similar statement to fire officials at the scene, but they later claimed to have misunderstood him.
During Dizdar’s interview with investigators, the officer said it was his first time hiking the Echo Canyon Trail, and that he even got lost returning to the parking lot and had to call an Uber.
Melissa Buttaro has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cost of bringing Tramonte’s body back to Saugus, Massachusetts, and covering her funeral expenses.
She paid tribute to Tramonte, but also called for justice relating to her death.
Buttaro wrote: ‘Angela Tramonte was born and raised in Saugus, MA. She was such a beautiful, kind, strong, good hearted woman who would do anything for anyone.
Friends have called for a thorough investigating into Tramonte’s death, describing her as a healthy young woman
‘She recently took a trip to Arizona to meet a man she was talking to online for two months. They supposedly went for a hike at Camelback Mountain on Friday, July 30th.’
She added: ‘Halfway up the mountain, Angela told this man, who is a police officer and first responder, that she was exhausted and couldn’t continue. She supposedly walked back down the mountain ALONE to the car while this man continued on by himself.
‘He clearly has no regard for her safety. She went missing for hours and was found dead from heat exhaustion.’
Buttaro continued: ‘Angela lived a very healthy, active lifestyle. She woke up early every morning to go the gym. She did weekly meal planning and was obsessed with drinking water. She also loved walking her dog Dolce every day.
‘We just want justice for our friend. Please consider donating to help us bring Angela’s body home and pay for funeral expenses. Any help would be greatly appreciated.’