SPRINGFIELD - Authorities have used a revolutionary process called DNA phenotyping they hope will lead them to a suspect in the unsolved homicide of Lisa Ziegert, an Agawam woman killed nearly a quarter-century ago.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning by Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni. Ziegert's parents, Dee and George were also at the press conference. Dee Ziegert said, "We are totally impressed and overwhelmed that this is available,"said Dee Ziegart, Lisa's mother.
Gulluni said investigators found a single source male DNA from an unknown individual that was developed from various items seized from Zeigert's body and the crime scene. They were not able to match that DNA in any state or federal DNA registries.
A company called Snapshot takes the DNA and creates a representation of what the suspect could look like at age 25 and age 50. DNA phenotyping provides authorities with a detailed report and profile that includes eye color, skin color, hair color, face shape, and information on the ancestry of the person who left the DNA. It cannot account for weight gain, changed in hair, or injuries.
Ziegert, a teacher's assistant at Agawam Middle School, was abducted on the night of April 15, 1992, while she was at her night job at a card shop in Agawam. The following morning she was reported missing by the store's day clerk. Upon arriving in the morning the clerk found the store open, the lights on, and the victim's car parked where it was the night before. The money in the store's cash register as well as the victim's purse and school materials appeared undisturbed. Ziegert's body was discovered on Easter, four days later, in a wooded area approximately four miles from where she was abducted.