Stroudsburg, Monroe County - Saturday the Monroe County community said goodbye to a man who was murdered.
Joseph DeVivo, 87, was a beloved father and grandfather. He was a veteran and a retired teacher.
Hundreds of people lined up to say goodbye to Joseph DeVivo at Saint Luke's Catholic Church in Stroudsburg. Longtime friend Jeaneen Griffin said, "I'm not surprised at all. I'm impressed but I'm not surprised."
Griffin told Eyewitness News that Joe was a special guy, so special that she asked him to be Godfather to her daughter. She said, "It's very sad that a man who is as kind and as wonderful as Joe was would end this way."
Joe was murdered. Police aren't giving many details but they believe he was killed in Monroe County and then dumped in South Carolina. His body was found near a river bed there. Investigators, volunteers, and his family had been searching for him for nearly three weeks. "They never gave up hope until they got the news hat his body had been found in South Carolina," said family friend Steven Drachler.
Drachler spoke on behalf of DeVivo's family. He said, "Their goal was to bring him home so he is home. they're giving thanks to God for the life that he lead." He, like many, hopes Joe isn't remembered for how he died, but for how he lived. "He had a heart as big as five people's," he recalled.
Joe served as an Amry Combat Engineer during World War Two. He also taught elementary school. Over 27 years in the classroom he touched thousands of lives. Griffin said, "He was just not the kind of man you would expect any kind of violence in his life at all. He was a wonderful guy."
Joe leaves behind three children, their spouses and six grandchildren. He also had many nieces and nephews. Drachler said, "They have a strong faith in God that's helped to carry them through as well as the prayers and concerns voiced by hundreds and hundreds of people not only here in the Poconos but throughout the country."
They will need that faith and support as they go through the long process of bringing the killer to justice.
Police believe a man named Rico Herbert killed DeVivo. He was found driving DeVivo's car and had DeVivo's wallet on him. Herbert has been charged with possession of stolen property. Police expect to charge him with homicide. They have not said when.