An Ohio’s 17- year-old girl’s rape and murder cold case has been resolved after nearly 33 years utilizing DNA and genetic genealogy, authorities stated.
Barbara Blatnik’s killer strangled her and dumped her nude body near an access road in Cuyahoga Falls in December 1987.
James Zastawnik, 67, of Cleveland, was charged with murder in her death today, according to reports Thursday.
” I am incredibly pleased with the work that our Cuyahoga Falls Police Department has done to assist ensure that Barbara Blatnik’s family can finally find the closure that they are worthy of,” Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters stated according to Fox 8 Cleveland
DNA discovered under Barbara’s fingernails was uploaded to a public genealogy site by forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick.
Cuyahoga Falls Police jailed James Zastawnik, 67, in cold case murder of 17- year-old Barbara Blatnik in December1987
( Cuyahoga Falls Police Department)
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This case is a landmark as the first-known criminal offense solved utilizing genetic genealogy based on a DNA mixture of the victim and her attacker, she said in a press release.
An Ohio nonprofit Task Porchlight established by author James Renner raised $6,000 to fund Fitzpatrick’s research, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
” In 1987 this guy was working in a factory on Warner Road in Garfield Heights and the last location that Barbara Blatnik was seen was the corner of Warner and Grand Division Road in Garfield Heights,” Renner informed Fox 8. “I believe you could probably see the factory from where she disappeared.”
A judge order Zastawnik held on $1 million bail Thursday, according to the station.
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