A Massachusetts woman has died after traveling to Arizona to meet a man for the first time, and her friends have a lot of questions about the circumstances of her death.
Friends of Angela Tramonte told CBS News Boston that the 31-year-old had traveled from her home in Saugus, Massachusetts, to Phoenix, Arizona, last week to meet a man she had met on Instagram. The friend said the man, who was not identified, is a police officer.
The pair reportedly went on a hike Friday at Camelback Mountain, which is outside of Phoenix. At some point during the hike, Tramonte is believed to have told her companion she was suffering in the heat and turned back while the man continued on the trail.
According to AZCentral.com, the man called 911 later that day after he was unable to find Tramonte in the parking lot where he said the two had agreed to meet after he was done with his hike. Tramonte’s personal items were in the car, but she was nowhere to be seen.
Authorities launched a large-scale search, utilizing helicopters and ground searchers. Hours later, around 4:40 p.m., Tramonte was found near Echo Trail, where she had been hiking with the man, in an area that was adjacent to a residence. She was unresponsive and unable to be revived, according to AZCentral.com.
“Just another reminder of just how unrelenting and unforgiving the elements of the Sonoran Desert can be,” Captain Rob McDade of the Phoenix Police Department said, according to CBS News Boston.
Authorities have not publicly commented on whether the man with Tramonte is a police officer. Investigators reportedly believe Tramonte died of heat exhaustion, but an official cause of death is pending a medical examination.
Tramonte’s friends told CBS News Boston they have a lot of questions about Tramonte’s death — and appear to be skeptical of the narrative provided to authorities by Tramonte’s date.
“If anybody knew Angela, she wouldn’t go anywhere without a gallon of water in her hand and I heard she was found without any water,” Tramonte’s friend Melissa Buttaro told the news station.
“Not even 24 hours and she’s dead,” Tramonte’s friend Stacey Gerardi said, apparently referring to the timing of Tramonte’s arrival in Phoenix.
“As a cop, as a first responder, you’re supposed to help people. If somebody’s walking up a mountain and you’re seeing her in distress and she’s not feeling well and she’s exhausted – why wouldn’t you walk her back down,” Gerardi said. “Why would you continue to walk back up? It doesn’t make sense.”
According to multiple reports, the investigation is ongoing, though authorities have not indicated they are treating Tramonte’s death as suspicious.
Tramonte’s friends, however, are determined to get to the bottom of what really happened.
“We want answers,” Gerardi told CBS News Boston. “We need to keep pushing,”
Tramonte’s friends have organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the young woman’s body to be sent back to Massachusetts.
“There are many inconsistencies in the timeline and facts that just don’t make any sense,” the campaign’s statement reads in part. “We want justice for our friend.”