(NEXSTAR) – The owner of a pizza parlor in Pennsylvania has been charged with criminal homicide after she admitted to shooting her partner and hiding his body in their house, police said.
Anna Maria Tolomello, 48, has been charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and possession of an instrument of a crime in connection with the death of Giovanni Gallina, 65, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
Police began an investigation into Gallina’s disappearance after the victim’s son, who lives in Italy, told authorities his father had stopped responding to their daily WhatsApp conversations in mid-March, according to a criminal complaint. Tolomello told Gallina’s son that his father was out of town on business but “left his cell phone at Pina’s Pizza Shop,” which the young man found to be suspicious, police said.
Meanwhile, Tolomello had arranged for another person — identified in the police report as “CS” — to dig a large hole in the driveway of her house, but “would not provide any reason for needing the hole, only that she wanted to bury one or more items.”
Police said they observed the excavation of the hole by CS, who was cooperating with authorities. CS also recorded a conversation in which she asked where Gallina was, only to be told by Tolomello that he was “away.”
Officers with the Hilltown Township Police and authorities from Bucks County arrived at Tolomello’s home on March 29, at which point she told officers she “knew” why they were there.
She then said told police (“unprompted,” according to a police affidavit) that she had shot Gallina in self-defense, and that his body was in the bedroom. Inside the home, officers found the body of a deceased male wrapped in a tarp and a comforter.
Tolomello later claimed Gallina was strangling her when she shot him. She also admitted that she planned to bury Gallina in the hole, and that she had disposed of evidence, including the couple’s mattress and the spent shell casing, per the police affidavit.
Tolomello is currently being held without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 19, 2022