Gary Schara; Suspect Charged in Lisa Ziegert Murder

Gary E. Schara was arrested for the rape kidnapping and murder of Lisa Ziegert who first went missing in 1992. The case went unsolved for 25 years

Man to face charges in Agawam educator's 1992 rape, murder

Schara's arrest came after authorities chose 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.

A MA man was taken into custody in CT on Monday in connection with a decades-old slaying of a middle school educator.

Investigators have made an arrest in a cold case murder that has gone unsolved for a quarter of a century. She was 24 years old.

According to the Hampden County District Attorney's Office, the money in the store's register and Ziegert's personal property, including her purse and school materials, were recovered from the card shop by police and appeared undisturbed. Four days later, Ziegert's body was found in a wooded area in Agawam, about four miles away. She was reported missing the next morning by the store's day clerk, who found the store open, with its lights on, and Ziegert's auto parked outside.

When police tried to speak to Schara, they learned that he had fled to CT, and had been hospitalized there following a suicide attempt.

Schara Hampden County District Attorney's office

A judge entered not-guilty pleas to charges of murder, aggravated rape and kidnapping on behalf of Gary Schara, 48, at his arraignment in Westfield District Court. Last year, Gulluni released a computer-generated rendering of a suspect using new technology that analyzed the DNA to predict the suspect's physical characteristics.

Last year, a single source male DNA profile was developed from evidence taken from Lisa's body.

Investigators stopped at Schara's home on Wednesday to notify him of a subpoena process to collect his DNA, but he was not home, and they left a message with a person in the house.

Investigators said a person close to Schara gave them handwritten confession notes he had allegedly written, Fox 25 Boston reported.

It wasn't immediately clear what if any connection existed between the suspect and the victim. Later that day, police tried to find Schara, and learned he had fled to Connecticut, Gulluni says.

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