Lancaster, Pa. — Authorities have announced an arrest in the stabbing death of a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman nearly half a century ago, crediting advances in DNA technology and genetic genealogy research.
Lancaster County prosecutors and Manor Township police say a criminal homicide charge has been filed against 68-year-old David Sinopoli in connection with the December 1975 slaying of Lindy Sue Beichler.
“Lindy Sue Beichler was 19 years old when her life was brutally taken from the sanctity of her own home 46 years ago,” said District Attorney Heather Adams. He said he hoped the arrest would “bring some relief to the victim’s loved ones and to the community (who) have had no answers for the past 46 years.”
Beachler, a flower shop clerk who had been married about a year earlier, was killed in the living room of her suburban Lancaster apartment after returning from grocery shopping. He was stabbed 19 times; Prosecutors said evidence at the scene suggests a sexual motive and investigators believe the killer knew her.
In 2019, prosecutors released a composite photo of a man they said left DNA evidence at the scene. The following year, prosecutors sought more genetic analysis that pointed to Sinopoli, who previously lived in the same four-unit apartment complex. In February, investigators “surreptitiously obtained DNA from a coffee cup belonging to Sinopoli before traveling to Philadelphia International Airport and placed it in a trash can,” authorities said.
“This case was solved using DNA, and DNA genetics in particular, and quite honestly without it I don’t know that we would have ever solved it,” Adams said, adding that the suspect “just wasn’t on our radar” as the new evidence indicated. before doing
CC Moore of Parabon NanoLabs said at the press conference that she used “a novel, unconventional” technique using DNA to follow candidates from a specific area and city in Italy through their family lineage and with public records, social media and other resources. . Such research, he stressed, only provides a lead or a tip — “a highly scientific tip but a tip just the same” — for investigators to follow up on, he said.
Sinopoli was arrested Sunday at his Lancaster home and is being held without bail on a charge of felony murder. Court records do not list an attorney representing him; A message seeking comment was left at a number listed in his name.