A Life Interrupted: Key figures in the Proviano case
Share with others:
On Dec. 28, 1997, the body of 29-year-old medical student Anthony Proviano was found in eastern Ohio, several days after he failed to arrive at his family's annual Christmas celebration in Baldwin Borough.
Anthony's death initially was ruled a suicide, and his parents and Belmont County, Ohio, investigators struggled for nearly a decade to discover what really happened.
In 12 consecutive installments, Post-Gazette reporter Steve Levin unravels the intricacies of a case that is every parent's nightmare and every investigator's struggle.
Below are photos and capsule descriptions of the key people involved with the case.
The second-year medical student at the University of Cincinnati Medical College was 29 when his body was found on an abandoned township road in Belmont County, Ohio, on Dec. 28, 1997. He had been expected at his family's Baldwin Borough home for its annual Christmas Day celebration. Maryann Proviano
The Baldwin Borough homemaker was a constant advocate for her son during the nearly 10-year investigation into his death, urging elected officials and law enforcement to do more. Carmen Proviano
The longtime public school industrial arts teacher and coach joined his wife at virtually every hearing on the case during its almost 10-year duration. Marlene "Slim" Smith
The ex-wife of suspect Douglas Main and a live-in girlfriend of suspect Douglas St. Clair, she was well known to Washington County authorities as a heroin addict who had served time on drug charges. She was a central suspect in Proviano's death and was convicted of his murder in 2006. Douglas Main
The Washington County resident is the ex-husband of Marlene Smith. A heroin addict who had served time on drug charges and a prime suspect in the Proviano murder, he was found not guilty of obstruction and perjury charges in the case by a Belmont County jury earlier this year. Douglas St. Clair
The Washington County resident and former boyfriend of Marlene Smith was indicted in 2006 on obstruction and perjury charges in connection with the Proviano murder. Prosecutors dropped the case against him earlier this year. Thomas A. Hampton
The longtime Belmont County, Ohio, attorney was appointed special prosecutor in the Proviano case in 2004. He gained a conviction of Marlene Smith in 2006 for the murder of Anthony Proviano. Olen F. Martin
The former chief deputy of the Sheriff's Office in Belmont County, Ohio, led the investigation into Proviano's murder for the case's first two years. He left the sheriff's office in 2001 to pursue other job opportunities. Chris Kelly
The Baldwin Borough police chief re-energized the investigation into Proviano's death after the case lay dormant for several years. He teamed with private investigator Bill Fera to bring new evidence to light in the case. Bart Giesey
The Belmont County, Ohio, deputy assumed sole control of the investigation for several years after Martin's departure from the department. He left the department in 2005 and is now in law enforcement in Georgia. Bill Fera
A former Allegheny County homicide investigator and retired director of corporate security at Heinz, he called the Provianos unsolicited in 2002 to offer his help. He spent 18 months of his own time working the case. Charles Dailey Jr.
The convicted head of a Greene County heroin gang that included Smith and Main was a key prosecution witness during trials. He runs a Washington County pawn shop. Manuel A. Villaverde
The former coroner of Belmont County, Ohio, originally ruled Proviano's death a suicide. Negative publicity about his ruling eventually led to his defeat at the polls and loss of his position. Sgt. Robert A. Artman
The Baldwin Borough police officer had the first contact with the Proviano family and later, with another borough officer, discovered Anthony's car in St. Clairsville, Ohio, parking lot. He is now retired. Officer Matthew Kearns
The Baldwin Borough police officer drove Carmen and Maryann Proviano to Cincinnati to seek clues in their son's disappearance in the days before his body was found. He is now a sergeant with the department.
First Published June 1, 2007 12:16 pm