PHOENIX — The woman found dead last week on Camelback Mountain went hiking with a Phoenix police officer.
ABC15 has learned the officer’s name is Dario Dizdar.
On Friday, at the scene, Phoenix Fire Department officials said Angela Tramonte went hiking on Echo Canyon Trail. She was found dead outside a home near the mountain.
Dizdar reportedly said he was her “boyfriend” and that she became overheated halfway up the trail and decided to turn around while he continued on the hike, officials said.
But last week was the first time Tramonte met Dizdar in person, according to her friends.
She had been in Phoenix for less than 24 hours.
Tramonte, who’s from Boston, flew to visit Dizdar on Thursday. The two had only been talking online for a couple of months, according to an online GoFundMe account and private social media messages shared with ABC15.
The direct messages on Instagram show Dizdar and Tramonte discussing her upcoming visit. The name of his account included his badge number.
Photos and videos were taken by ABC15 photojournalists of Dizdar at the scene also match photos of him in uniform.
Phoenix fire and police department officials did not disclose that the man with Tramonte was a city police officer.
After Dizdar hiked to the top of the mountain and then returned to the vehicle, he could not find her, fire officials said. Crews said Tramonte’s belongings were found inside the car. To explain why the woman was found dead outside a nearby home, firefighters believed she attempted to alert someone in the area before collapsing.
Tramonte’s close friends spoke to reporters in Boston over the weekend and expressed doubt over city officials' initial version of events.
“As a cop, as a first responder, you’re supposed to help people. If somebody’s walking up a mountain and you’re seeing her in distress, and she’s not feeling well, and she’s exhausted – why wouldn’t you walk her back down,” Stacey Gerardi told a WBZ journalist. “Why would you continue to walk back up? It doesn’t make sense.”
On Monday, ABC15 spoke to a man hiking with a group of friends on Camelback Friday morning.
He said they saw the pair together on the mountain and then saw Dizdar again later approaching people at the base, asking if anyone had seen the woman.
The man provided photos of the hike as verification to ABC15 but asked not to be identified because of the growing publicity of this case.
Dizdar has been with the Phoenix Police Department for 14 years.
Phoenix police did not directly respond to ABC15's requests for comment about Dizdar or the investigation. Late Monday, the department released the following update to all news outlets:
"On July 30, 2021, at about 1:00 p.m., Phoenix Fire personnel responded to a trail at Camelback Mountain after receiving a 911 call reporting a hiker missing. The person who called 911 was an off-duty Phoenix Police officer, who informed the emergency operator that he and Ms. Tramonte had separated during a hike, and he could not find her. The initial search included over 30 fire personnel and the police helicopter.
At 3:00 p.m., Phoenix Fire requested the assistance of Phoenix Police officers to help with search efforts. The witness told officers Ms. Tramonte and he began their hike around 10:00 a.m., and neither one of them had any water. The witness also told officers that during the hike, Ms.Tramonte decided to head back down the trail and asked him to continue to the top to take pictures to share them on her social media. The pair agreed to meet later at the car.
At approximately 4:40 p.m., Ms. Tramonte was located off the Echo Canyon Trail, adjacent to a home, on the northeast side of Camelback Mountain. Phoenix Fire personnel responded and found her unresponsive, beyond resuscitative efforts, and she was pronounced deceased. No traumatic injuries were observed during the initial investigation or discovered during the autopsy. Ms. Tramonte’s cellular phone was located on her when she was found.
At this time, there is no evidence to indicate foul play is suspected in connection with Ms. Tramonte’s tragic death. The City employee who was with Ms. Tramonte is a witness and is cooperating with investigators. He has been granted personal time off and has been offered resources to deal with this tragedy.
Detectives are continuing the death investigation. The Office of the Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death."
Dave Biscobing at KNXV first reported this story.