December 10th, 2009 | News, University

Missing lab tech found near home

John DiNello, 47, had not showed up to work as an animal lab technician at Yale for four days, as of Thursday.
John DiNello, 47, had not showed up to work as an animal lab technician at Yale for four days, as of Thursday. Photo by Nora Caplan-Bricker.

Updated 9:05 a.m. A Yale animal lab technician who went missing Monday has been found safe near his West Haven home, police said Friday morning.

According to a press release from the West Haven police, John DiNello, 47, was found at a Dunkin’ Donuts in West Haven around 6:30 a.m. Friday. A “good Samaritan” who had seen media reports of his disappearance recognized DiNello, and police officers arrived and located him.

DiNello, who needs medication daily, did not require any medical attention Friday morning, the press release said, and has been reunited with his family.

DiNello did not show up for work for four days and, until Friday, was not seen by his family for more than 60 hours, University spokesman Tom Conroy said Thursday evening. DiNello’s family had last seen him leaving their West Haven home for work Monday morning and reported the disappearance Thursday morning, according to the West Haven police. DiNello left his home Monday without his medication, police said.

West Haven police spokesman Martin Garcia said Thursday that there was no reason to suspect any connection between DiNello’s disappearance and the murder of Annie Le GRD ’13, for which another Yale lab technician, Raymond Clark III, was charged in September. Le’s body was found behind a wall in the 10 Amistad St. research facility where she worked.

“We are not investigating anything, any type of involvement,” Garcia said Thursday. “There’s no criminal aspect to this investigation.”

Yale Police Chief James Perrotti sent e-mails to DiNello’s colleagues seeking information and encouraging people who might know something to call the West Haven or Yale police, Conroy said Thursday.

Gabrielle DiNello, John DiNello’s sister who lives with him and their parents, said Thursday that the family members did not know what was going on, except that the police were investigating.

“Maybe to us he’s missing,” she said Thursday. “Maybe to him he’s not missing.”