Dismembered and thrown in a dumpster: Who killed Diana Vicari?

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Dismembered and thrown in a dumpster: Who killed Diana Vicari?

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED Jan 15, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Twenty-one years later and the alley on 7th and Ferro still has that eery feel. In a Tucson dumpster, police found Diana Vicari's arms, severed from her body.

"It hit us all really hard, really hard," said Angela Vicari, Diana's sister.

The case made Tucson headlines. The bizarre brutal murder shocked the city and ripped apart the Vicari family.

"My sister deserves peace," said Vicari. "My family deserves peace."

But peace has eluded the Vicaris for more than two decades. Vicari's body was never found.

"I'd like to know the truth," said Vicari.

Diana was last seen in the Tucson Convention Center parking lot after a concert. She would disappear in October of 1992. The reliable, hard working teen and PCC student failed to show at work, both at Bazils and Eegees. Right away her family knew something was wrong.

"As soon as I knew she was missing, I knew she was dead," said Vicari. "It's not like her."

Her sister Angela was just 16 at the time and never spoke publicly.

"We meet here ever year, it's something that helps us stay together," said Debbie Vicari, during the 10 year anniversary of Diana's death.

Speaking to the media was left to Debbie, Diana's older sister. Or Diana's mom who spoke to 9OYS several times during the investigation.

"I can't say how I'd feel," said Kathalene Pashos, Diana's mother.

But now both are dead. So is Diana's brother. Angela and her father are the only Vicari's left to push for answers.

"I'd really  like to see whoever did this put to justice," said Vicari.

For the longest time, county prosecutors and the Vicari family believed Lemuel Prion killed and dismembered Diana. Diana's car was found just days later near La Cholla and Osa St., just blocks away from where Prion lived at the time. In 1999, he was convicted and sentenced to death for the grisly crime.

"I did not murder Vicari, nor did I know her," said Prion at one of his court hearings.

He always claimed innocence and in 2002 his conviction and death sentence was overturned. There was no murder weapon or strong physical evidence to link Prion to Vicari's brutal killing, only arms in a dumpster. Diana's family was back at square one. The killer still out there.

"Without knowing, it could be the person I'm talking to," said Vicari. "It could be the person I'm living with. Not knowing, it's hard. It's hard."

TPD's cold case unit is reviewing the case. They are urging the public to come forward with new leads. Someone out there could very well hold the key to this decades old case.

"Any information, now matter how small, can help them solve it sooner," said Ofc.. Brandon Tatum.

For a family that's been waiting more than two decades, soon can't come fast enough. The mural that sprung in honor of Diana and other murdered children has now been wiped clean. Today, only a few candles remain.

"It's not ok what happened to her," said Vicari. "It's not ok. And for someone to get away with it, it's ridiculous. If it happened to her, it could happen to anybody."

Most of Diana's living relatives now live far from Tucson, far from that alley and the dumpster that they say brought evil into their lives. To this day, Diana has no grave. At this point only a tip can help bring Diana home.

"I haven't given up hope," said Vicari. "I'll never give up hope."

If you have any information about this case, call 88-crime or TPD's Cold Case Unit at (520) 837-7588.