Details of Disappearance Harkins was last seen leaving Suney's Pub in the 200 block of Chandler Street in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 15, 1994. He has never been been heard from again. He left his wallet, cigarettes, hat, coat and money when he disappeared.
Authorities believe Harkins got into a black 1985 Chevrolet Impala with Matteo Trotto after he left the bar. That same vehicle was pulled over for speeding on Route 146 very early the next morning. Elias Samia was driving, John R. Fredette was in the passenger seat, and blood was on the roof and the passenger side door.
The men said the blood was from a bar fight. Police let the car go without searching it. It has never been located. Samia later said he'd junked it, but in 2005 the fire department found a car roof, a front passenger side car door, and other parts believed to be from the Impala.
Harkins was supposed to testify on Fredette's behalf two days prior to his disappearance, and Trotto had allegedly paid him with money and cocaine to lie on the stand. Fredette was on trial for drug charges and pleaded guilty after Harkins did not show up to testify. He did not begin serving his sentence until two days after Harkins disappeared.
Harkins was declared legally dead in April 2008. In February 2012, Fredette and Samia were charged with his murder. Trotto was also ultimately charged with murder as well.
Photos of the men are posted with this case summary. Authorities believe they shot him to death in the car because he refused to perjure himself. All three men were convicted: Trotto in May 2014, Fredette in June, and Samia in November.
Foul play is suspected in Harkins's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
- Worcester Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 1, 2015; details of disappearance updated.