Arrest made in 25 year old murder case

Investigators have made an arrest in a cold case murder that has gone unsolved for a quarter of a century.

Police gathered evidence from the crime scene at the time of the murder but they were unable to officially identify a suspect until now, reports said.

Ziegert, 24, was a teacher's aide at Agawam Middle School when she disappeared from the Agawam card and gift store where she was working alone. Her throat had been cut and she had multiple stab wounds.

The suspect was reportedly arrested in CT on a warrant for kidnapping, murder, and aggravated rape. Four days later, Ziegert's body was found in a wooded area in Agawam, about four miles away.

It wasn't immediately clear if Schara had an attorney.

Schara's arrest came after authorities chose to circle back to persons of interest in the case whose DNA profiles had never been run against evidence taken from Ziegert's body, Gulluni said.

Police made headway in the case after distributing a computer-generated picture previous year, using DNA found at the scene to estimate what a possible suspect would look like, reports said. But the next day, a person close to Schara contacted investigators and provided them with handwritten documents, purportedly written by Schara, in which Schara allegedly admitted to abducting, raping and murdering Ziegert.

Investigators then obtained samples of Schara's DNA through search warrants, and they matched the profile taken from Ziegert's body, Gulluni said. Police then learned he had fled to CT, where they found him after he attempted suicide, Gulluni said.

"We'll do anything, and sit through anything to have this happen, and to face this person and to say, 'We got you, '" Diane Ziegert said.

CT state police took a MA man into custody Monday on a fugitive from justice warrant charging him with the 1992 slaying of a woman in Agawam, Mass. "... No matter how long it takes, you can always be brought to justice".

Vanessa Coleman

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