Angela Tramonte dies in Arizona desert after hiking with cop with history of lying
Angela Tramonte had been in Phoenix for less than 24 hours when she was found dead on a hiking trail last Friday. Now her friends are asking about her relationship with a cop on leave who was with her that day and who has a documented history of lying.
Tramonte, 31, had traveled to the city to meet with Dario Dizdar, a Phoenix police officer, firefighters told the Daily Beast on Monday. Friends said the couple had been talking online for two months and it was the first time they had met in person.
Dizdar began a hike with Tramonte on Friday afternoon, but continued when Tramonte became tired and “overheated,” firefighters said in a press release. Dizdar later did not find Tramonte in the car and called to report his disappearance. Her body was found a few hours later, and she was pronounced dead.
No one has been charged with any crime in connection with Tramonte’s death, and the cause of his death is listed as “pending” by the local coroner.
Meanwhile, Dizdar, who has been with the Phoenix Police Department since 2007, has previously been sanctioned for lying to Arizona Police about his identity during a criminal investigation in 2009, business documents show. Interns viewed by The Daily Beast.
Dizdar’s identity and his relationship with Tramonte were first reported on Monday by ABC 15. Initially, it was not clear if the cop identified with the emergency services last week as a police officer. But Rob McDade, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Fire Department, told the Daily Beast that Dizdar did just that from the start.
“He let us know,” McDade said.
Dizdar did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Mercedes Fortune, spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, told the Daily Beast in a statement that no “traumatic injuries” were seen on Tramonte when she was found. “At the moment, there is no evidence indicating that foul play is suspected,” she wrote.
The Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office told the Daily Beast that no charges against Dizdar or anyone have been filed regarding Tramonte’s death.
Tramonte flew from Boston to Phoenix on Thursday, according to a GoFundMe account created Sunday by Melissa Buttaro, who identified herself as a friend of Tramonte. Tramonte had been talking online with Dizdar for two months, and within 24 hours of landing the couple hiked up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Buttaro wrote.
According to Buttaro, Tramonte was born and raised in Saugus, Massachusetts, and had an active lifestyle that included going to the gym every morning, weekly meal plans, and drinking abundant water. Buttaro wrote that because of this there were “a lot of inconsistencies” in the timeline and facts surrounding his death which “just don’t make sense.”
The Phoenix Fire Department received a call at 1 p.m. from Dizdar, who said Tramonte was visiting from out of town and became “overheated” halfway down a trail on Camelback Mountain, according to McDade. Dizdar continued the hike as Tramonte turned to return to the parking lot. But when he got back to the car, Tramonte’s things were there but she wasn’t, McDade said.
According to Fortune, Dizdar told police that neither he nor Tramonte brought water on the hike. He said Tramonte decided to go back down and asked him to continue to the top so he could take pictures and share them on his social media. They agreed to meet at the car later.
A 30-man rescue team searched the mountain, assisted by a helicopter, McDade noted. At around 5 p.m. Tramonte was found off the trail near a house on the northeast side of the mountain. She did not respond and was pronounced dead.
McDade told The Daily Beast that the track is “very technical” and even physically fit people can find it difficult if conditions are not optimal. He noted that Friday’s temperature reached 105 degrees. From where Tramonte was found, McDade said, he thinks she may have lost sight of the trail and headed for nearby homes for help.
“Once you get off the track you’re in trouble,” he said. “Now you’re just crossing the Sonoran Desert. “
But Buttaro took aim at Dizdar, writing that he should have done better than leaving Tramonte alone given he is a first responder. “He clearly has no respect for his safety,” she wrote.
Contacted by The Daily Beast, Buttaro said she was aware of Dizdar’s history of police misconduct, but declined to comment further, citing the investigation into Tramonte’s death. Attempts to reach Tramonte’s family for this story were unsuccessful.
According to internal documents from the Phoenix Police Department published by ABC 15 in 2020, Dizdar has already been sanctioned and placed on a Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office “Brady List” that tracks police officers with integrity issues due to past misconduct. The Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office told the Daily Beast that Dizdar was still on the list.
According to a internal investigation file, Dizdar was in a Sangria salon in Glendale, Ariz. In September 2009 when a Glendale police officer questioned him about an anonymous friend who was allegedly assaulted earlier in front of the bar.
Dizdar did not witness the assault and identified himself as a Phoenix police officer, according to the report. But he did provide the officer with a false name and date of birth, according to the record. He also gave the police the wrong victim number.
Before his next shift, Dizdar, according to the record, told his supervisor the truth about what had happened, apologized and cooperated with a Glendale detective investigating the assault.