CARONIA (MESSINA). The divers emerge from two ponds and shake the testa. “Nobody’s here.” The firefighters also arrive, their faces tired from three days of research: «We have checked the network that runs along the highway, there are no gaps. From there they cannot have passed ». Viviana Parisi, 43, and her son Joel of 4, have disappeared into thin air since Monday. Inexplicably. As inexplicable were the fires that sixteen years ago, in 2004, brought to the fore this country – Caronia, halfway between Palermo and Messina – which usually enjoys its life suspended between the sea downstream and the Nebrodi mountains behind. They lit up in the houses of the village, out of nowhere, incinerating refrigerators and televisions, self-burns for no apparent reason that brought scientists from all over the world and even ufologists.
Today no one can explain how a woman with a child, on a hot day in August, can disappear on board a busy highway. A witness says he saw her walking towards Palermo. But from the point where he left the car, flanked by the guard rail after a slight rear-end collision, you cannot go anywhere on foot, much less with a frug in his arm.
“Rambo wouldn’t have made it either,” they whisperedor the men of Antonino Torcivia, the chief of the firefighters of nearby Santo Stefano di Camastra, among the many engaged in research that throngs the operational base, set up in a bus station on the Caronia plain. Police, carabinieri, city police, foresters, volunteers, drones, even trained dogs. An incessant comings and goings. To take one of the streets that lead to the sea, the woman would have had to pass – in addition to the guard rail – a 1.5 meter high net without a single passage; upstream it would have to cross and then climb up an embankment leading to the woods. Despite this, rescuers have searched everywhere, in this territory which with its 226 kilometers of surface is the ninety-third by extension in Italy. They asked breeders, hunters and shepherds. They sifted ruins, farmhouses, tool stores, farms. They went up to the paths leading to the Tassita wood, the largest and southernmost in Europe, with the patriarch trees that are between five hundred and seven hundred years old age.
So in the evening the hypothesis that the woman – profession dj and vocalist with the stage name of Express Viviana, an established DJ husband named Daniele Mondello, born in Turin where her parents still live but long since resident in Venetico, tired as are all mothers of young children to the point of writing «I would like take back my past », depressive symptoms exacerbated by the lockdown – she got into another car with her son. Of a person he knew? Of a stranger? Hopefully in the first hypothesis, even if one wonders why – if it was a planned departure – it was decided to leave the car right there, in order to immediately trigger the alarmis. What is certain is that she has changed her plans from what she announced to her husband. And that from home, in Venetico, instead of going to nearby Milazzo to buy shoes for the child (she only left at that toll booth, without paying, but she immediately returned to the highway) she made her way to Palermo, for over a hundred kilometers.
You have to do this path, with the interchanges that follow one after the other: Milazzo, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Falcone, Patti where there is the power of attorney investigating the case, Brolo, Sant’Agata di Militello. And finally Caronia. There, a banal collision with other means, and the decision to stop on the highway, leaving the bag with the money and documents in the car, as if it should return immediately after. Last night the appeal of her husband on her Facebook page, her voice broken by tears: «Listen to me, Viviana, go home, there is no problem, you only made a small accident. Please, you can’t be out for so many days, without money, without anything. Don’t worry, we are all waiting for you, with open arms. I wait for you, I love you, I miss you a lot ». It is 9 o’clock in the evening when a report arrives from the town of Motta d’Affermo: a mask and two handkerchiefs soiled with blood have been found. A labile trace, not to be overlookedre.