As Arizona authorities investigate the death of a woman on Camelback Mountain, there are conflicting reports about whether her hiking companion was familiar with the trail they were traversing, KNXV-TV reports.
Angela Tramonte, 31, was found dead July 30 near a home off the trail’s path. Her death is under investigation, and authorities say there is no indication of foul play.
But questions remain about what exactly happened. Tramonte had been hiking with Dario Dizdar, an officer with the Phoenix Police Department.
Dizdar had initially told detectives that he got lost on the trail after he and Tramonte separated about halfway up the mountain, and that he was not familiar with the trail, according to KNXV-TV.
However, the television station reports that Dizdar’s statements to investigators are not consistent with accounts by fire and rescue officials from the scene and an incident report written by a park ranger who had talked with Dizdar.
While crews were searching for Tramonte, a spokesperson for the fire department told journalists that Dizdar “was very familiar with this mountain” and that “he hikes it this time of day all the time from the top to the bottom.”
A Phoenix park ranger also wrote in an incident report that Dizdar said he enjoyed hiking Camelback and did so often.
“The boyfriend stated that he was a local and did this hike all the time and she was going to go as far as she could and turn around,” the incident report obtained by the television station reads.
However, during follow-up interviews with police, Dizdar said the July 30 hike was the first time he had been on Echo Canyon Trail. He said he became lost and ordered a ride-share service back to the trail parking lot.
Officials with the fire department later asked the media to stop using its initial statement because they said they misunderstood Dizdar, according to KNXV-TV.
Further, a spokesperson for the police department told the television station that it does not know what specific questions fire and park authorities had asked Dizdar, who is not considered a suspect.
Tramonte is from the Boston area and had flown to Phoenix to meet Dizdar for the first time after the two had been chatting on social media for two months.
This week, Dizdar told KNXV-TV that the narrative about him is wrong, but he declined to go into detail.
“I got my statement. I gave it to the detective,” Dizdar told the television station during an impromptu exchange outside police headquarters.
The park ranger’s report shows that search crews used Tramonte’s phone to get an indication of her location and eventually found her body in a backyard off the trail.
According to Dizdar, the two separated around 10:30 a.m. Dizdar told police that Tramonte felt overheated as they were ascending the mountain and that she wanted to turn back. But he said she asked him to take photos from the top of the trail for her Instagram account, and that they agreed to meet back where they had parked.
At about 1 p.m., Dizdar — who was off duty — called 911 to report that Tramonte was not at their meeting point.
Temperatures that day hit a high of around 105 degrees, but Dizdar has said that neither he nor Tramonte brought water.
In response to KNXV-TV questions, the Phoenix Police Department’s issued this statement, according to the television station:
“Information released initially, is information that was known at the time. I would also like to point out that there are different trails within Camelback Mountain, and we do not know what specific questions were asked by fire and park personnel prior to our detective speaking to the witness.
“The conversation between the witness and our detective was recorded. That interview indicates the witness reported this was his first time hiking the Echo Canyon Trail. This continues to be an ongoing death investigation with no indication of foul play. The witness continues to cooperate and has provided all information to our investigators. Some of the information provided includes cell phone information.
“During a preliminary examination of the phone, investigators did see photos from the top of Camelback Mountain taken that day, and proof of a rideshare trip used by the witness when he got lost.”
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[Featured Photo: Angela Tramonte/GoFundMe]