This arrest begins the trial of the oldest so-called cold case in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania investigators said. On Sunday, they arrested a man suspected of the murder of 19-year-old Linda Sue Biechler in 1975. After nearly half a century, the man’s relationship with the case was confirmed thanks to a sample of genetic material secured on a coffee mug.
On December 5, 1975, 19-year-old Lindy Sue Biechler was found dead by her aunt and uncle at her apartment in Lancaster. She was lying on her back with a knife stuck in her neck and a kitchen cloth wrapped around his hilt. 19 stab wounds were found on the teenager’s body.
Shortly before her death, the 19-year-old returned from the supermarket, as evidenced by shopping bags scattered around the scene. Investigators also found that the knife and cloth were from Biechler’s kitchen.
Traces leading to Italy
These clues, however, were insufficient to catch the perpetrator. For several decades, no one has even been arrested in connection with the murder of a teenage girl. The prosecutor’s office said that many clues had been checked, but that they all led nowhere.
In the 1990s, when investigators gained access to far more advanced technology, semen secured on Biechler’s underwear was compared with samples in the DNA database of national law enforcement agencies. But it didn’t fit any of them.
In 2019, law enforcement began cooperation with the Parabon NanoLabs laboratory. Their advanced genealogical research has shown that the DNA found at the crime scene belongs to a person with roots in Italy – more specifically in the Calabrian town of Gasperina or its vicinity.
As the researcher CeCe Moore explained at the Monday press conference, during the investigation the group of suspects was gradually narrowed down, and finally the DNA secured in 1975 was linked to David Vincent Sinopoli, whose grandparents came from Gasperina. In addition, the investigators established that the man was Biechler’s neighbor at the time of the crime.
Sinopoli has been tracked since then, and in February this year, officers managed to secure a coffee mug that the 68-year-old had thrown in a garbage bin at Philadelphia airport. The genetic material on the cup matched the DNA on the murdered teenager’s underwear.
Arrested after 46 years
On Sunday, US police arrested 68-year-old David Vincent Sinopoli at his own home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The man has already been charged in connection with the murder of 46 years ago, he is not allowed to leave the prison on bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 25.
“This arrest begins a trial in Lancaster County’s oldest so-called cold case. We hope it will bring relief to the victim’s relatives and community members who have not received any responses for 46 years,” Lancaster County Attorney Heather Adams said in the press release. .
Adams noted at a press conference that Sinopoli “never disappeared from the investigators’ radar” and that his connection to the case had not been ruled out. However, for several decades, there was no evidence that “would point to him as a possible suspect.”