In August 2022, news had surfaced that perhaps Angela Celentano, who disappeared as a child in 1996 on Mount Faito, was now living in South America. The story had stunk a bit to me, because personally as a private investigator I would have maintained the utmost confidentiality to protect the clients of my Octopus detective agency.
Now I learn that after about five months, the Celentano family’s lawyer is still waiting for DNA matches on the alleged Angela Celentano, now 29 years old and a naturalized South American, who is in Europe.
Often, in investigations entrusted to my Octopus detective agency, it happens that I have to take DNA samples. In some cases, I proceed officially, asking for the consent and cooperation of the person concerned; in other cases I proceed discreetly without the person’s knowledge, sometimes to anticipate official responses or other times because the responses will never be made official.
In the case of Angela Celentano, as a private investigator of the Octopus Detective Agency, I would have opted for an initial intervention without legal value, because it is quicker and more discreet. And, moreover, there is no risk of stumbling the denial of the person concerned.
In such cases, the private detectives of the Octopus investigative agency proceed with some surveillance, stalking and stakeouts, aimed at finding suitable finds to extract DNA: tissues thrown away after a sneeze, used paper cups, chewed chewing gum, freshly smoked cigarette butts, etc.
If surveillance does not yield the desired results, they proceed by approaching the person under investigation to “steal” samples for examination. I remember a private detective from the Octopus Investigations agency in Milan who had retrieved our suspect’s DNA from his toothbrush after entering his house with a good excuse and asking to use the bathroom.
A few years earlier, a private investigator from the Bergamo-based Octopus detective agency, who in his spare time volunteered as a hospital clown, in full makeup stopped his suspect in the street and asked her for a favor to inflate some balloons for a children’s party because she had forgotten her compressor and was suffering from asthma.
All right, I admit it: these are, I admit, scientifically unorthodox evidence collection procedures that we private investigators of the Octopus Detective Agency in Milan carry out with the undercurrent of the reproaches of the geneticist who collaborates with us, yet they have often resolved doubts, avoided unnecessary civil and criminal lawsuits or, on the contrary, suggested them, all in complete discretion.
Returning to the disappearance of Angela Celentano, I wonder if it was wise to proceed with all this media hype, which, although sometimes necessary to the investigation, the only certain effect it causes are false alarms, as I wrote in my ‘Handbook for Tracing Missing Persons’ published by Greco&Gresco in 2010.