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Caricofes still trying to get answers in son's death

August 23, 1997

From staff reports

One year after the death of their son at an Ocean City, Md., motel, Washington County residents Richard and Pat Caricofe are still trying to find out what happened.

Professional wrestler Neil Caricofe, 33, of Hagerstown, died Aug. 23, 1996, in the parking lot of the Fenwick Inn in Ocean City. He collapsed after struggling with police.

According to the state medical examiner's office, Caricofe's death was caused by a combination of bodybuilding drugs, alcohol and a bad heart.

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But, Caricofe's parents still have many unanswered questions about their son's death.

"They're trying desperately to find out more information," said the family's Baltimore attorney Gerald C. Ruter.

"There's just a total stonewalling by any law enforcement down there. They want to know with precision who bludgeoned their son to death," Ruter said.

Police, who had been called with reports of a naked man at the motel, subdued Caricofe after a struggle. They used pepper spray and hit him repeatedly with their batons.

The medical examiner's office had reported that the beating did not cause internal injuries and was not life-threatening.

Today around the Fenwick Inn, the family's investigator will be handing out about 500 fliers featuring a picture of Neil Caricofe in hopes of finding witnesses, said the family's Frederick attorney Edward Lulie.

"We're trying to find people who may have been vacationing at the same time last year," he said.

A letter to the editor is expected to run in the Salisbury, Md., newspaper, The Daily Times, this weekend, Lulie said. They also are trying to get ads asking the public for help in major metropolitan newspapers, he said.

Richard Caricofe had no comment on Friday.

Pat Caricofe could not be reached for comment.

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