|Felice Coluccio was last seen 24 June, 1990 at Merrylands, Sydney, NSW. He caught a taxi from Merrylands to Cronulla and has not been seen since. There are fears for the safety of Felice.|
THE disappearance of his father when he was 14 has inspired undertaker Adrian Coluccio to ensure clients have a fitting farewell.
A TERRIBLE loss and an unsolved mystery inspired Adriano Coluccio’s unconventional career change — from selling fruit and vegetables to becoming an undertaker and providing funeral services.
Mr Coluccio was just 14 when his father Felice Coluccio went missing.
Mr Coluccio Sr, then 48, caught a taxi from Merrylands to Cronulla on June 24, 1990. He has not been seen again.
The family has been left with a permanent hole and perplexed by the disappearance.
Every time Adriano Coluccio does a funeral service, he imagines how he would want to say farewell to his father if he had the chance.
“I never had closure,” Mr Coluccio said. “I decided to help other people at the lowest point of their lives.”
Mr Coluccio is now a father himself — and although he is in the business of celebrating the end of life, he is as equally as committed to celebrating the present moment.
“It has opened up my mind in life,” Mr Coluccio said of his father’s mysterious disappearance.
“I have four kids and a beautiful wife — I have learned never to take them for granted.
“I spend as much time with them as I can.”
As he attends to families in the days of their devastation, Mr Coluccio has learned even more about the value of life.
“I do funerals for people who have gone to bed and never woken up,” he said.
“I’ve done funerals for children.
“It changes your perspective on the bad days.
“I just try to enjoy my life as much as I can.”
Although it’s just on 27 years since his father disappeared, Mr Coluccio said he still said a prayer for his father.
“Spiritually I lean on my Catholic faith — I grew up serving the mass as an altar boy,” Mr Coluccio said.
“I pray, God, bring him home.
“But where ever he is, I pray he is happy.”
By crime reporterMark Reddie - ABC
Vince Coluccio, 74, was dressed in prison greens and was assisted by an Italian interpreter when the judgment was handed down in the NSW Supreme Court today.
Police alleged he stabbed Elia Coluccio with a kitchen knife while she was asleep on the couch of their Merrylands property in February last year.
The elderly man then washed his hands before getting in the car and driving himself to the local police station where he was charged with murder.
Before delivering his decision, Justice Robert Hulme extended his sympathies to the loved ones of Ms Coluccio, none of whom were in court today.
"Undoubtedly this is a sad case — I extend my sincere condolences to those who grieve the loss of Elia," he said.
Adam Martin and forensic psychologist David Greenberg found the alleged killer suffered from either "psychotic depression or schizophrenia", the court heard.
"He seemed confused as to whether his wife was alive or dead," Dr Martin said in a written statement.
"His limited understanding would hamper his ability to defend or give evidence."
The court heard Mr Coluccio told one of the doctors he believed his wife was having an affair when he allegedly killed her in the family living room last year.
"He claimed the deceased had been cheating on him and that his children were mocking him …at other times, he appeared tearful and expressed remorse," Professor Greenberg said in a written statement.
Mr Coluccio's brother disappeared almost 30 years ago, which doctors have attributed to his deteriorating mental health, the court heard.
"He claimed his brother was god and that he could hear his voice," Professor Greenberg said.
Justice Hulme said there was strong evidence to suggest Mr Coluccio failed to understand any of his previous court proceedings.
"There is compelling evidence Mr Coluccio is unfit to stand trial — he experienced delusions and remains confused if the deceased is actually dead," he said.
"On the basis of uncontested evidence of the experts, I find him unfit to be tried."
Mr Coluccio stared blankly at the judge when the decision was handed down and his case was referred to the Mental Health Review Tribunal for further assessment.
He will remain behind bars at Long Bay Jail pending the findings of the tribunal at a later date.