It has all the elements of a Hollywood thriller. In the heart of Sicily a bride was left standing at the altar, the wedding celebrations were abandoned and then days later the groom disappeared.
Now a body, thought to be that of the elusive groom has been found in a burnt out car in Salemi, about 25 miles west of Marsala, in an area considered the heartland of the mafia fugitive boss, Matteo Messina Denaro. Francesco Ciaravolo, a 48-year old businessman from Salemi was due to marry his fiancée, a nurse whose name has not been released, at the San Francesco di Paola Church in the small town Castelvetrano on December 29 . “You have only one life, live it intensely as if it was the first day, and don’t waste it on useless things,” Ciaravolo previously wrote on his Facebook page. Burnt-out Mercedes According to Italian media reports, the guests gathered at the church and the priest stood at the altar. But Ciaravolo never showed up. Late Saturday the remains of a man’s body were discovered in Salemi behind the wheel of a burnt out Mercedes belonging to Ciaravolo in Salemi. Police fear it may be Ciaravolo’s body and an autopsy is being conducted in Palermo to determine the identity of the driver and the cause of death. Murder or suicide? “He was an easygoing, normal person, without any links to crime,” one investigator told to Tp24.it.
Ciaravolo had not been seen since 3 January. Prosecutors and police have opened an investigation in Marsala and investigators said they hoped the autopsy would reveal whether the cause of death was murder or suicide. Italian media said it was not the first time Ciaravolo tried to marry the same woman. He reportedly planned to wed her last year before the wedding was postponed to December.