Photo: Lancaster County Prosecutor’s Office/Courtesy
A Pennsylvania man has been accused of fatally stabbing a 19-year-old woman 46 years ago after investigators obtained her DNA from a cup of coffee. at an airport earlier this year, authorities said Monday.
David Sinopolis68, had never been considered a suspect in the murder of Lindy Sue Biechler in 1975 until a genetic genealogy researcher used crime scene DNA to determine that the probable killer’s ancestors were from a town in southern Italy, the researcher, Cece Moore, said, NBC News reported today.
After reviewing records and developing Sinopoli as a person of interest, Moore said, he turned the information over to Lancaster County authorities.
“Honestly, without that, I don’t think we would have solved it,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said at a news conference.
Sinopoli was arrested at his home last Sunday and charged with criminal homicide, Adams reported. He is being held without bond at the Lancaster County Jail.
The murder of Lindy Sue Biechler
Biechler’s aunt and uncle found his body in their apartment on the night of December 5, 1975. in what Adams called a “horrible scene.” There was blood inside and outside the front door, on the carpet and on one wall, he said.
A knife protruded from Biechler’s neck, and investigators later determined that she had been stabbed 19 times, Adams said. At that point, dozens of people were acquitted of the murder and the case eventually went cold, Adams said.
DNA extracted from semen in his underwear was submitted to a national law enforcement database in 1997, but the profile returned no matches, Adams said.
In 2020, Moore and her company, Parabon NanoLabs, began pursuing what she described as a “novel” strategy to identify people of interest to authorities after traditional genealogical research provided only distant matches, she said.
Moore determined that the person associated with the DNA had roots in Gasperina, a town in the Calabria region, he said.
“There were very few people living in Lancaster who were the correct age, sex and family tree,” he said.
Sinopoli had never been “on our radar,” Adams said. “No council ever suggested it.”
How they got the DNA from Sinopoli
Investigators kept tabs on him for months, and on February 11 they picked up a cup of coffee that he threw in the trash at Philadelphia International Airport. DNA obtained from the cup matched DNA found on Biechler’s underwear, Adams said.
Authorities confirmed the finding after analyzing two bloodstains found on Biechler’s pantyhose, he said.
A possible motive in the murder remained unclear. Adams said only that Sinopoli appeared to have lived in the same apartment complex as Biechler in 1974.
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