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

Springfield-Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced the charges

MassLive.com reports that Gary E. Schara has been arrested and charged with the murder of Lisa Ziegert, who was killed in 1992 in Agawam.

"They never give up, whatever you do, no matter how long it takes, you can always be brought to justice", she said at a press conference Monday. She was 24 years old at the time of her murder.

A man charged with raping and killing a MA teacher's aide after abducting her from her night job at a card shop 25 years ago was ordered held without bail Tuesday.

Four days later, she was reportedly found raped and stabbed to death in a wooded area, about four miles from her job.

A court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for 48-year-old Gary Schara of West Springfield in the April 1992 rape and murder of Lisa Ziegert. He was released from the hospital yesterday and was in the custody of Connecticut State Police on a fugitive from justice charge, the DA said. The clerk who arrived at work the next morning found the store open, the lights on and Ziegert's vehicle still in the parking lot.

The victim's mother Dee Ziegert said'We are so grateful for the hard work and determination and faith that all of these investigators had over all these years

The DNA of Schara, who was described as a person of interest years ago, was found at the scene, but investigators didn't have a sample to test it against until last week, Gulluni said. Her purse, her other personal belongings and the store's cash register appeared undisturbed.

Over the years, the single-source, male DNA profile developed from evidence in the case repeatedly was run against state, national and global DNA databases, without a match, Gulluni said. State troopers in MA tried to notify Schara about this process last Wednesday, according to Gulluni.

It was not immediately clear why was Schara was in the hospital.

As investigators taking another look at the cold case were honing in on Schara, Gulluni said, a person close to Schara last week contacted investigators and provided them with handwritten documents, purportedly written by Schara, in which Schara allegedly admitted to abducting, raping and murdering Ziegert.

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

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