When East Hampton resident Jini Barnum was reported missing on July 28, it was her boyfriend Anthony Garofalo who called 911.
Now Garofalo is incarcerated at Hartford Correctional Center, after being arrested just five days later on a charge of violating his special parole.
The charge against Garofalo is technically unrelated to the ongoing missing-person investigation into the 30-year-old Barnum’s whereabouts. But a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, Brian Garnett, declined to comment on the nature of the charges that landed Garofalo in jail.
“It’s not something I will go into at the moment because of the ongoing investigation,” Garnett said.
When asked about the “ongoing investigation,” Garnett confirmed he was referring to the missing Barnum case. He declined to comment beyond that.
The East Hampton woman left her Main Street home on July 28 after getting into a fight with Garofalo, leaving her 6-week old baby, police said. After 11 days, East Hampton police , and both police and Barnum’s friends at the Middletown Eagles Club are still actively searching for her.
Garofalo is a convicted sex offender who served jail time for a 2002 sexual assault conviction. According to WFSB, which interviewed him before he was arrested on Aug. 3, Garofalo was the one who called police to report Barnum missing. He told the news station he got into an argument with her because she was drunk and he assumed she was just going out at 11 p.m. to walk off the alcohol.
Friends of Barnum have told multiple news outlets, , that her disappearance is unusual. A member of the Eagles Club, where Barnum is a member, said it seemed out of character for her to leave her 6-week-old baby like she did.
When asked why the investigation turned criminal, East Hampton Police Chief Matthew Reimondo said it’s a matter of looking at the situation realistically.
“It’s been 14 to 15 days, and there’s been no contact with family and friends,” Reimondo said. “And we have to be prepared for several outcomes.”
Barnum will either re-appear somewhere, or she’ll have to be listed as a missing person indefinitely, he said.
“Hopefully it doesn’t [end badly], and we can find her and she can come back to her life with her family and child,” Reimondo said.
The child has since been in the custody of one of the grandparents.
Barnum, 30, is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and has red/blonde hair, numerous tattoos and piercings. She was last seen wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
The Eagles do fundraising events for causes such as the Jimmy Fund as well as for the community. You can keep posted on their efforts to find Barnum by visiting their Facebook page.
Do you have any information that might help? Anyone with information is asked to call the East Hampton Police Department at (860) 267-9922.