Reward offered in Donofrio case

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The Mahoning County Violent Crimes Task Force is offering a $25,000 reward in connection to information in the death of former Valley businessman James Donofrio.

Donofrio was last seen Sept. 25, 2011. His was later found dead in the Ohio River, near the West Virginia line. It took more than a year to identify his remains.

West Virginia officials said it took that long to identify the body pulled form the river on March 25, 2012 because the state has one medical examiner to perform autopsies.

Donofrio, the former owner of Avalon Gardens restaurant, went missing Sept. 26, 2011. A massive search found Donofrio’s SUV abandoned near the Mahoning River by the Market Street Bridge.

Autopsy results released to the family in July were inconclusive and the cause and manner of death were listed as “undetermined” on the autopsy report. Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley has said there were no obvious signs of violence.

Anyone with information on the case can call Crime Stoppers at 330-746-CLUE (746-2583) or send an anonymous tip online at

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