46 years is a long time to wait for justice, but finally, Pennsylvania police have arrested a suspect in the stabbing death of a woman. The arrest was made possible by the hard work of investigators and the brilliant analysis of evidence conducted by a self-proclaimed ‘DNA Detective.’

David Sinopoli, a 68-year-old Canadian, was arrested and charged with her murder recently. Lindy Sue Biechler, who was 19 years old at the time, received 19 wounds to her neck, chest, back, and abdomen in December 1975 according to ABC.

CeCe Moore, the lead genetic genealogist at Parabon NanoLabs, worked on the case beginning in 2018.

To find the perpetrator, Moore utilized genetic genealogy–a method that uses volunteer DNA samples and a comprehensive DNA database to observe the unknown person’s lineage. Initially, she was disrupted by the Lancaster County situation, which led her to lose concentration.

Moore stated, “Usually I’m able to identify common ancestors. But because the common ancestors between the matches and the suspect, in this case, were probably back in the 1700s [or] 1600s, I wasn’t able to approach it the way that I do in most cases. It was really tugging at me, so I decided to develop a new approach. There was a very clear migration pattern from a town in southern Italy called Gasperina, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.”

Furthermore, she discovered names when rummaging through old membership papers of a social club. “Those membership cards are listed when people were born. Because I knew that this suspect had roots in this small town of Gasperina, I went through all of those cards and found the people who had immigrated from Gasperina to Lancaster,” Moore stated.

It wasn’t easy for her because she had to come up with 2,300 names. She stated, “About half are gonna be female. A certain percentage are gonna be too old or too young. I knew this person had to be fully Italian from Gasperina or close by. I worked through each and every one of those families that had migrated from that very specific town. It was really only possible because of this very unique [membership card] record collection that Lancaster had.”

“I just quietly worked on it on my own time. I didn’t know if it would work,” Moore said. “Every time I had provided a lead to investigators, I was able to connect that person’s family tree to one or more matches, and the fact that I couldn’t connect this tree made me very concerned. But there were circumstances about him (such as having lived in Biechler’s apartment complex) that made it seem unlikely that this was a coincidence. ”

When cops discovered that Sinopoli might be Biechler’s murderer, they began researching to discover more information…

In February, police chased Sinopoli to the Philadelphia airport. In court documents, Detective Martin observed Sinopoli and three others sitting together. His wife’s cup had been discarded by Sinopoli because he didn’t have one himself. When Martin retrieved the bag from the trash, he found a cup concealed under the one Sinopoli’s wife had used.

The affidavit reads: “The finding of the extra coffee cup on the bottom of the bag and the totality of the circumstances is evidence that was demonstrated to Det. Martin that the coffee cup on the bottom of the brown paper bag was Sinopoli’s cup or used by him.”

The DNA on the cup matched the semen found on Biechler’s underwear through the tests.