WOODSTOCK, Ill. (CBS) — The body never was found, but prosecutors are going forward today with a murder trial in McHenry County.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger, Mario Casciaro, now 28, is accused of killing his co-worker, Brian Carrick, 17, in 2002 when they both worked at a grocery store co-owned by Casciaro’s family in far northwest suburban Johnsburg.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Carrick was a stock boy at the store, while Casciaro was his supervisor.
Carrick’s body was never found, but former federal prosecutor Tad DiBiase, an expert on no-body murder cases, says new technology makes it easier than ever to prove conclusively that a missing person was probably murdered.
“It’s a lot easier than even 20 years ago to show” ‘Hey, this person hasn’t used their cell phone. They haven’t updated their Facebook status. They used to update things every day,’” DiBiase said.
DiBiase says when there is no body, prosecutors bring only the strongest circumstantial cases to trial.
“They’ve got to believe there’s a better than 50 percent chance to win,” DiBiase said.
Two high-profile no-body cases in the Chicago area remain unsolved.
Lisa Stebic disappeared in April 2007 from her Plainfield home, and her husband, Craig Stebic, has been named a person of interest in her disappearance, but has never faced criminal charges. Lisa Stebic has never been declared dead.
Stacy Peterson has not been seen since October 2007, and her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, has been named a person of interest in her disappearance but has not been charged. Peterson is being held on separate charges of killing his third wife before Stacy, Kathleen Savio.
No-body cases have a mixed rate of success when it comes to prosecution. In 1994, Edward Lyng, of Palatine, was convicted of the 1977 murder of his wife, Stephanie, even though her body was never found.
But in 2004, Robert Dianovsky Sr., of Schaumburg, was acquitted of the murder of his wife, Peggy. While Criminal Court Judge Dennis Porter said there was overwhelming evidence that Peggy was dead, there was no proof that her husband was involved.