How A Small Piece Of Bone Helped Confirm Michael Rosenblum's Death 12 Years Later

On the afternoon of February 14, 1980, 25-year-old Michael Rosenblum and his girlfriend, Lisa, left her home near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as he had an appointment scheduled with his attorney at 12:30 p.m. As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rosenblum planned to discuss a speeding ticket.

However, Unsolved Mysteries reports that when they stopped at a gas station, Rosenblum took Lisa's car and left her there. Although Rosenblum told Lisa to meet him at his parents' house in two hours, he did not make it to the appointment with his attorney and never showed up at their home. As his whereabouts were unknown, his family became concerned and filed a missing persons report the following day.

In the days and weeks prior, Rosenblum had begun behaving erratically, and his family and friends had become concerned for his welfare.

He left rehab one month before he vanished

One month prior, Unsolved Mysteries reports Michael Rosenblum was released from a rehabilitation facility, where he was being treated for an addiction to prescription painkillers. Although he made great strides at the facility, his mother, Barbara, learned he was using again when she found prescription painkillers in his bedroom. One day before he vanished, Barbara confronted her son about the pills and asked him to leave her home. Unsolved Mysteries reports she said, "Don't come back until you're completely off drugs, until you want to live your life the way you should." Later that same evening, Rosenblum reportedly binged on alcohol and drugs. On the morning of February 14, 1980, his girlfriend reported that he was in an agitated state.

As reported by Unsolved Mysteries, Rosenblum's parents conceded that he had a history of drug use and addiction. However, they said it was unusual for him to simply vanish without any contact with his family and friends. They also noted he did not take any personal belongings and had not accessed his bank account.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The Baldwin Borough police department found Lisa's car the same day Michael Rosenblum vanished

When authorities failed to find any trace of Michael Rosenblum or Lisa's car, his father, Maurice, started his own search for his son. Unsolved Mysteries reports Maurice offered a substantial award for any information about his son's whereabouts. He also distributed flyers and traveled throughout the country, interviewing Michael's friends and known associates.

On May 21, 1980, authorities with the Baldwin Borough Police Department contacted Lisa to report her vehicle had been found. However, it had not been found recently. In fact, the abandoned car was located only two hours after Rosenblum vanished. As reported by Unsolved Mysteries, the vehicle was discovered with two flat tires and visibly damaged rims. The officers noted the keys were not found anywhere inside or around the vehicle, and the engine felt cool, suggesting it had been parked there for some time.

The Baldwin Borough Police Department had the vehicle towed to their impound yard, where it remained for three months before Lisa was contacted.

The Baldwin Borough police department faced scrutiny about the oversight

Unsolved Mysteries reports the Pittsburgh Police Department, which was investigating Michael Rosenblum's disappearance, contacted several other law enforcement agencies — including the Baldwin Borough Police Department — in their search for the vehicle. However, for some reason, Baldwin officials did not seem to realize they already had the vehicle in their possession.

Maurice said he was stunned that significant evidence in the investigation into his son's disappearance was overlooked. Stephen Tercsak, who was a detective with the Pittsburgh Police Department at the time, said, "If we knew that car was on River Road, the whole picture would've changed drastically. If we had known that car was found in Baldwin that morning, within hours, I strongly believe we would've known by now what had happened to Michael."

Officials with the Baldwin Borough Police Department said they sent Lisa a notice about the vehicle through the mail the day after the vehicle was located. They also produced a copy of that notice, which was dated February 15, 1980. However, Lisa insisted she never received the notice.

Baldwin Borough Chief Aldo Gaburri also faced scrutiny over the incident

Maurice, however, was skeptical about the Baldwin Borough Police Department's explanation and became convinced they were hiding something. In addition to their failure to communicate with the Pittsburgh Police Department about the vehicle, Unsolved Mysteries reports Maurice received two different phone calls suggesting Michael was arrested by the Baldwin Borough Police Department around the time he went missing.

On July 15, 1980, the Baldwin Borough Police Department issued a warrant for Rosenblum's arrest in connection with a robbery — which reportedly occurred two months after he was reported missing. One week after the warrant was issued, it was retracted without explanation. Later that same year, Fred Cappelli, who worked as a clerk for Baldwin Borough Chief Aldo Gaburri, confirmed his boss told him to write and backdate a letter to Lisa about her missing vehicle three months after it was found. The chief allegedly further instructed Cappelli not to send the letter. Unsolved Mysteries reports Cappelli was dismissed by the Baldwin Borough Council for misconduct but was ultimately reinstated by the Civil Service Commission shortly after.

A bone fragment found in 1992 confirmed Michael Rosenblum was dead

As reported by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Michael Rosenblum's father, Maurice, was convinced that the Baldwin Borough Police Department knew more about his son's disappearance than they were willing to disclose. However, no sign of Rosenblum was found until eight years after he vanished. 

In April 1988, Unsolved Mysteries reports several scraps of clothing and a bone fragment were found near the road where Lisa's vehicle was found eight years earlier. Although authorities were unable to prove the bone fragment was Rosenblum's, the clothing fragments matched the clothing Rosenblum was wearing on the day he vanished. As reported by Google Arts & Culture, a larger skull fragment, which was found near the same road in 1992, was positively identified as having belonged to Rosenblum. The gruesome discovery confirmed that Rosenblum was dead. However, there was not enough evidence to prove specifically how he died.

Rosenblum's family was thankful to finally be able to lay him to rest. However, Unsolved Mysteries reports Maurice is still suspicious of the Baldwin Borough Police Department's handling of certain evidence and their possible involvement in his son's disappearance.