Providence man’s death treated as homicide investigation

Melissa Toupin

Yellow tape now surrounds 76-78 Ponoma Avenue in Providence. Investigators now calling the fire at the home suspicious. An arson reward poster attached to the front of the triple decker.

The home owner, Richard Palazzo, was found dead inside. Police are now looking into wether he was murdered. This morning they found a clue. Palazzo's car, which was missing from the driveway, was found parked under a tree about a block away.

“We walked over there jsut to make sure it is the car, and we noticed it because of the JD Byrider sign in the front,” said neighbor Roberto Rivera. He and his friend discovered the Ford Taurus parked on Chaucer Street.

Palazzo lives alone and was found dead inside his home yesterday after the house went up in flames.

“We didn't think somebody was in there because we didn't see his car there, but then they were like yeah, he's in there,” said neighbor Karen Robles.

His death is now being treated as a homicide investigation. Evidence found at the scene and on Palazzo's body leads investigators to believe foul play is involved.

“The guy never bothered nobody,” said Rivera. “Always stayed to himself.”

Neighbors are now hoping the car, found just a short distance away, will lead to some answers.

“It's so weird that it's parked a couple of blocks from his house. That's a little interesting,” said Robles.

The car was towed to the Providence Public Safety Complex where it will be combed for evidence.

An autopsy was done by the medical examiner, but came back inconclusive. More tests have been scheduled to determine cause of death.