Arrest made in 25 year old murder case

Gary Schara of West Springfield is accused of the kidnapping rape and murder of Lisa Ziegert in 1992

Schara's arrest came after authorities made a decision 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.

An arrest has been made in the 25-year-old unsolved murder case of a middle school teacher's aide.

Ziegert's mother says her family is grateful to finally obtain justice. Authorities said at the time that she suffered multiple stab wounds and was killed when the assailant slit her throat.

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Ziegert was working alone at the Brittany Card and Gift Shop in Agawam on the night of April 15, 1992, when someone apparently kidnapped her, according to Globe archives. Four days later, Ziegert's body was found in a wooded area in Agawam, about four miles away. The clerk who arrived at work the next morning found the store open, the lights on and Ziegert's auto still in the parking lot. He was released from the medical facility Monday and is now in the custody of the Connecticut State Police on a fugitive from justice charge as he awaits extradition to MA.

Gary Schara, 48, of West Springfield is facing charges of murder, kidnapping and aggravated rape in relation to the death of Lisa Ziegert.

Last year, the district attorney's office released a composite image of the suspect in Ziegert's slaying through a process called DNA phenotyping, which uses genetic material to predict the physical appearance and ancestry of an unknown individual.

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Over the years, the single-source, male DNA profile developed from evidence in the case repeatedly was run against state, national and worldwide DNA databases, without a match, Gulluni said.

The next day, a tipster provided troopers with information about Schara's involvement in the murder-including hand-written documents in which Schara purportedly admits to abducting, raping, and killing Ziegert. Police then learned he had fled to CT, where they found him after he attempted suicide, Gulluni said.

It wasn't immediately clear if Schara had an attorney. "... No matter how long it takes, you can always be brought to justice".

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