April 29, 2005

04/29/05: Frank DiMattia, Troy, NY

Frank DiMattia Jr.
On April 29, 2005, Frank DiMattia Jr., 21, went with friends to see a concert featuring the band Phix (billed as "celebrating the music of Phish") and opening act Rezi at Revolution Hall at 425 River Street in Troy, N.Y. The Johnstown resident left the concert because he was reportedly not feeling well. He was last spotted at the Troy waterfront, near the Green Island Bridge.

One friend, Chris Bailey, who posted comments about Frank's disappearance online under the handle "Rovo," wrote that instead of watching the show, he looked for Frank for over two hours after he disappeared. He had been told that Frank was very intoxicated and sitting by a picnic table at the waterfront near the Green Island Bridge, but when he went to find him, Frank was nowhere to be found.

"After searching for a while," wrote Rovo, "I saw a cop car with lights on talking to someone and put someone in the car and I figured they were taking my friend Frank to the drunk tank to sober up. But the cops never took him and we have been searching for him for the past two weeks. I guess people who saw him that that night said he was really upset."

Friends also told police that Frank was distraught at the time he was last seen.

Frank's fully clothed body was discovered two weeks later in the Hudson River by the dock master at the Troy Town Dock and Marina at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13, 2005. The river runs next to the venue where the concert was held. The Schenectady Daily Gazette reported that the body was under the dock floating two to three feet off the sea wall.

Frank's father, Frank DiMattia, Sr., told the paper, "From what I understand, he went outside and he wasn't feeling that well. And when they came back to look for him, he was gone. They don't know if he jumped in the river, if he's been wandering the streets -- nobody knows what happened to him."

The cause of death was asphyxiation due to drowning. Police initially believed it was suicide because Frank reportedly had past issues with substance abuse, but friends say he was recovering and doing well and was looking forward to the future.

According to reports, police were going to review video surveillance footage to see if the young man was on any of the tapes.

About Frank DiMattia

According to friends, Frank "always told someone where he was going" and he "always brought pictures of his lil brother and sister if he was gonna go traveling."
"He was one of the kindest and friendliest people I've ever met," one friend said. "Oh, Frank was far from perfect but he was a kind person and he would do anything for friends and that is why this is so tragic. There is not enough people like him in the world anymore. If you find someone like that hold onto them cause they are a dieing [sic] breed."

Case Details
Name/age: Frank DiMattia, 21
Residence: Johnstown, NY
Parents: Tiena DiMattia of Broadalbin and Frank DiMattia Sr.
Description: Tattoos on right arm and forearm.
Investigating Agency: Troy Police Department at 518-270-4421

Capital News 9 web staff (2005, May 3). Troy man reported missing. Capital News 9. Accessed September 13, 2012 from: http://capitalregion.ynn.com/content/top_stories/79172/troy-man-reported-missing/

Bailey, Chris. (2005, May 14). Losing a Friend. [Msg 549016]. Message posted to:


Published: 09/14/09. Revised 9/13/12.


Monique777 said...

I wonder if anyone confirmed whether Frank was the man police were putting in the car that night or who the person actually was they put in their car.

This portion of the story jumps out at me. If his friend saw the police putting someone in the back of their car I would think the person must have resembled his friend in some way if he saw the person. If he didn't see the person I wonder why he would assume his friend was being taken away by the police by just seeing police lights.

Very sad story.

Death or Glory said...

Hi. I'm not sure if you still post on this, but I ran across this while thinking of him. Thanks for keeping this alive. He was an amazing friend, and I loved him dearly. He lived a great full life of traveling, and adventure. The entire story of that night was made to look a lot less painful than it actually was. Kind of weird, I searched all over the internet for stories about his disappearance, and it's like they all vanished. I realized today that it's been almost 6 years since all of that happened, and I still think about him everyday. All I can say, is if you see your friends, and they are upset, please, don't leave them alone.

Lisa said...

@ Death or Glory,
Thank you for leaving your comments. I enjoyed reading about Frank and who he was as a person--these things are often left out of the paper too. If you are interested in posting some additional thoughts about Frank for the upcoming anniversary, I would be happy to post an update. You can e-mail me at footprints.blogmail@yahoo.com. Either way, I thank you for the touching comments and your word of advice to my readers.

Anonymous said...

Hi, im Franks sister. Its was very upsetting to find out he died, at the time i was only 8 years old and i didnt really understand anything that was happening. Frank was so inspiring. He was always there for me, and he was so kind hearted with everything he did. My mom has been through so much these past years, and i just hate seeing her upset when she is. I hope no one ever has to go through what my family went through.

Lisa said...

@ Alex - I am so very sorry about your brother and that this happened to you. Frank sounds like he was a great guy--the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. I am so very sorry for your loss and for what you and your family have gone through!

Dana Lee said...

I was Frank's Girlfriend on and off for a few years and I was supposed to be there with frank the night he passed away although I could not make it, how remorseful I am for that. what a tragedy. I am also so sad for Franks younger brother who was a great friend to me and is also gone now. I feel so strongly for the family and I wish that I could reach out and squeeze their hands sometimes...


Lisa said...

@ Dana - Thank you for sharing your kind comments. I am so sorry you've had to carry such a weight on your shoulders. I hope you can find peace in knowing that you couldn't have forseen that this would happen. And there is no guarantee the outcome would have been different if you had been there. It is a terrible, terrible tragedy. I'm sure the family will take some small comfort in knowing that Frank--and his brother, Nick--were loved by so many.