Nicole Russo

Nicole, circa 1995; Louis Urcinoli

  • Missing Since 03/12/1995
  • Missing From Brick, New Jersey
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 16 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'0, 98 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description Her father's green silk jacket, a dark-colored shirt, a gray skirt, white stockings and white sneakers. Carrying maroon jeans, a dark-colored shirt, and a backpack with Mickey Mouse faces on it.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Black/brown hair, hazel eyes. Nicole has a tattoo of a fighting Irishman on the inside of her right ankle. She has surgical scars on her back and right hip, and has a seven-inch metal rod implanted in her back to support her spine; this was to treat scoliosis. Nicole frequently dyes her hair different colors, and she had red highlights in it when she went missing. Her nickname is Nicky.

Details of Disappearance

Nicole was last seen in Brick, New Jersey on March 12, 1995. She left to spend some time with her boyfriend, Louis P. Urcinoli, at his mother's home in Hauppauge, Long Island. She promised to call her parents and let them know if she would be staying overnight, but she didn't call and has never been heard from again.

A photo of Urcinoli is posted with this case summary. He and Nicole had been dating for just a few weeks and seemed to have a good relationship. Her parents approved of Urcinoli, and he had dinner with her family.

When her father contacted Urcinoli to ask where Nicole was, Urcinoli said he'd taken her to Brooklyn, New York the night of her disappearance and they had an argument. She got out of his car at 93rd Street and 7th Avenue at 9:30 p.m., carrying her clothes and radio, and he thought she was going to her ex-boyfriend's house. He said he never saw her again and that she left her Mickey Mouse backpack behind at his apartment.

Nicole used her backpack as a purse and carried it with her everywhere, and her family didn't think she would have left without taking it. She She had dropped out of tenth grade in Brick Township High School the previous fall, and decided to become an auto mechanic. A week before her disappearance, she began GED preparation classes at Princeton Avenue School. Her parents described her as mature for her age, but "confused and lovesick."

Shortly after Nicole's disappearance, Urcinoli was charged with Nicole murder. Authorities believe he beat her to death in his apartment at the Parkside Motel, where he had been living at the time of her disappearance, after she told him she was leaving him because she wanted to reconcile with a previous boyfriend.

Police found bloodstains in several places at the apartment, and some of Nicole's clothes were present. There were indications that someone had tried to clean up the crime scene. Urcinoli told his uncle, Bernard Mancuso, he'd hit Nicole in the head six or seven times with a crowbar, slit her throat, wrapped her body in a carpet or garbage bags, drove it to Long Island, New York, and put it in a dumpster there. He fled the area after Nicole's disappearance, but was arrested at the airport in Los Angeles, California.

Urcinoli subsequently tried to hire someone to kill Mancuso and his wife to stop them from testifying against him. In November 1996, he was convicted of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and conspiracy, and sentenced to life in prison plus twenty years. He will not be eligible for parole for forty years.

Foul play is suspected in Nicole's disappearance due to the circumstances involved. Investigators believe her body may have been incinerated.

Investigating Agency

  • Brick Township Police Department 732-262-1100

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 17, 2019; picture added, distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.