Family 'grateful' after DNA cracks 25-year-old slay

Georgia Reed
September 20, 2017

A MA man was taken into custody in CT on Monday in connection with a decades-old slaying of a middle school educator.

For 25 years Lisa Ziegert's family have sought answers and justice in her murder.

Ziegart's mother is grateful that police remained determined to solve this case. She had been raped and stabbed.

Lisa Ziegert was 24 when she disappeared from her second job at a card store in Agawam in the spring of 1992.

Authorities found Schara at a CT medical facility, where he was taken into custody on a fugitive-of-justice charge. Her body was found in a nearby wooded area four days later.

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Schara was arrested by police Saturday and charged with murder, aggravated rape and kidnapping of Lisa Ziegert, who first went missing in 1992, the Hampden District Attorney said during a news conference on Monday. She was reported missing the next morning by the store's day clerk, who found the store open, with its lights on, and Ziegert's vehicle parked outside. Her purse, her other personal belongings and the store's cash register appeared undisturbed. Last year, Gulluni released a computer-generated rendering of a suspect using new technology that analyzed the DNA to predict the suspect's physical characteristics.

Over the years, the single-source, male DNA profile developed from evidence in the case repeatedly was run against state, national and worldwide DNA databases, without a match, Gulluni said.

With the help of the rendering, detectives who were giving the case a fresh look honed in on a small group of people of interest who had surfaced in the investigation over the years, but for whom investigators did not have DNA samples. State troopers in MA tried to notify Schara about this process last Wednesday, according to Gulluni.

Investigators said a person close to Schara gave them handwritten confession notes he had allegedly written, Fox 25 Boston reported.

When authorities attempted to locate him, Schara fled to CT, where he apparently attempted suicide.

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