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Gary Schara, suspect charged in Lisa Ziegert murder, DNA phenotyping helped crack it

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It took 25 years for the long hands of the law reach the suspect. Lisa Ziegert, a 24-year old girl was raped and killed in Agawam, Massachusetts in April 1992. Her family has been trying to find justice for the young and bubbly girl who lost her life in such a tragic way.

For 25 years Lisa Ziegert’s family have sought answers and justice in her murder. On September 18, Gary Schara, 48, was charged in Vernon, Connecticut, with Ziegert’s April 1992 rape and murder. The crime occurred in Agawam, Massachusetts. She was 24 years old.

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Reports claim that the 44-year old suspect appeared in Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut, on the morning of September 18. There are reasons to believe that Gary Schara will be transferred to Massachusetts within a few days time to face the charges of murder and rape that he committed some 24 years ago.




24-year old Ziegert was a teacher’s assistant in Agawam Middle School when she was abducted. Reports suggest that the woman was abducted from her job at the Brittany Card & Gift Shoppe on Walnut Extension on April 15, 1992.

After intensive search, her body was discovered four days later in a wooded area off Route 75 on April 19, 1992.

Recent scientific developments seem to have played a major role in finally helping solve the mysterious murder that many thought would never be solved. A break in the case came last year, when Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni released a composite image of a suspect generated through a new technology called DNA phenotyping. Taking DNA evidence found at the scene, investigators were able to create a profile of her killer. There is no denying that it wouldn’t have been possible with the new scientific developments.

Earlier a spokesman for DA Gulluni told the Boston Globe that Ziegert’s murder ranks as “one of the most notorious unsolved cases in Western Massachusetts… There’s a significant amount of resources the DA provided to the case that… led to this new development. The Ziegert family has exuded nothing but grace and dignity throughout the process and we would love nothing more than to see closure for the Ziegerts and for Lisa.” At a press conference on September 18, DA Gulluni said that DNA proved that Schara was Ziegert’s killer.

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