"He was a good kid. I was proud of him. Still am. And I miss him very much."
Thomas Di Sabatino's son, Peter, was killed outside his Newark-area Studio Green Apartments residence at 211 Thorn Lane on November 12, 2012, gunned down in what his sister, Natalie, said was a planned murder.
"Peter was at his apartment, he had friends in his apartment. He received a text message to come outside and meet someone that he knew. That person set him up. His friends heard the gunshots, and the assailants ran away. His friends came out and tried to resuscitate him, doing CPR, mouth-to-mouth, while other friends call 911."
Peter's murder remains officially unsolved, and the New Castle County Police's Cold Case unit has been highlighting cases like Peter's, putting on display the pain and anguish suffered by those surviving family members who must continue on with their lives after the death of a loved one. They re-released a video filmed about three years ago, as the 8th anniversary of Di Sabatino's death passed on Thursday.
"He just was happy to be alive," said his sister, Caroline. "How could my baby brother be gone?"
Cases like Peter's are gathered on the Cold Case Unit's website dedicated to unsolved murders in the area, with 19 individuals currently featured on the site. In Di Sabatino's case, authorities said two black males--one in a grey hoodie, the other in a black hoodie--were identified as suspect.
Thomas Di Sabatino expressed frustration at the case's current status, and said more evidence is needed to help bring his son's murderers to justice.
"It's been almost five years and we know who they are," he said. "But there just isn't enough evidence to give them what they deserve."
His mother, Angela Herman, described the waking nightmare of having to both learn of her son's death, and then tell his sisters Peter was gone.
"I just kept thinking, 'When I get there, somebody's going to take me in and show me that he's okay.' They didn't. When I got there, they took me back to another room," she said. "After they told me, after the girls came in, we had to tell them. [Officials] let us see him, but because it was a criminal case, I couldn't even touch him. I couldn't hold him one more time. I couldn't even hold his hand."
County police hope highlighting the experiences of families like the Di Sabatinos might strike a chord and inspire someone with more information to provide them with whatever might be necessary to resolve the case--and bring the family closure.
"I understand that people make mistakes. But unfortunately, we're the ones that are living with the effects of it," said Natalie Di Sabatino. "There is an anonymous hotline you can call and give a tip. Please call and share any information you have, because you can help save the rest of our lives. We can't save Peter, but you can help save us."
To provide a tip to this, or any cold case, visit their website, send an anonymous text to 847411, or, in Di Sabatino's case in particular, call New Castle County Police Det. Brian Shahan at 302.395.2781.