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March 25. 2014 10:08PM

Matthew Dion had returned home to live with parents


Police are seeking Matthew Dion, pictured, as a person of interest in the case. 


Police Wednesday morning released this alternate photo of Matthew Dion. 


 

MANCHESTER — Everything seemed to change in the life of Matthew Dion once he hooked up with a former fellow graduate of Memorial High School.

He and Pamela Focosi got engaged. He started a Facebook account and accepted friend requests from fellow 1993 graduates. They had a child together.

"He was overjoyed at the time," said Ryan Gilmartin, who like others posted on Dion's Facebook page Tuesday to ask if he was OK and where he was.

Police have called Dion, who is 38, a person of interest in the fire and explosion at his parent's house at 210 Mooresville Road on Monday. Dion was the adopted son of Bob and Connie Dion.

His cousin, Mike Mitchell, said the Dions took great care of Matt, their only child.

"They did everything for that kid," he said. "That's what is puzzling me. They took very good care of him."

Dion seemed to do the same for his adopted family. Focosi came to the relationship with three children, and Dion treated them as his own, Gilmartin said.

On Monday, the oldest of the three, Mike Focosi, told a reporter he thought of Dion as his father.

At some point after high school, Matt Dion left Manchester and moved to Georgia, according to Jim Normand, a lawyer hired by the family.

A family friend said he lived there for a couple of years, had an apartment, made money and held a good job.

About six years ago, he returned home with a back injury, Normand said.

"He was a smart kid, nice kid. When he returned with the injury, he was very quiet," Normand said.

He was on pain medication, but Normand did not know what medication.

The family friend said Dion seemed lost. His hair and beard were scruffy, and he avoided human contact.

Eventually he got a job, apparently at Comcast, according to the friend and Mike Focosi.

However, Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman said Tuesday that Dion never worked for the company or its subcontractors.

Normand said he did not know if Dion worked or was on disability.

Matt Dion met Focosi, his old Memorial classmate, through the Internet. He had never dated, but the next thing the Dions knew, Focosi was pregnant, the friend said.

At one point, Focosi, her three children, Dion and the baby moved into the Mooresville Road home. The Dions moved to the ground floor.

"They loved the kids, they called them their grandchildren," the friend said.

Eventually, the Focosi family moved out.

But Dion mostly lived at the Mooresville Road home, Normand said.

Mike Focosi remained enrolled at Memorial High School.

The family friend said he lived with his mother; Dion drove him to school every morning, went to work and then picked him up at his parents, the friend said.

Gilmartin said he never knew what happened to Dion after graduation.

He said he was surprised when he first learned that Dion and Focosi were together. Focosi was popular during high school; Dion was nerdy, he said.

"They were both extremely happy," Gilmartin said.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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