Arrest made in 25-year-old murder of MA woman

Cheryl Sanders
September 19, 2017

Gary Edward Schara, 48, of West Springfield, Mass. was taken into custody at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, where he was a patient. reports that Gary E. Schara has been arrested and charged with the murder of Lisa Ziegert, who was killed in 1992 in Agawam.

When police tried to speak to Schara, they learned that he had fled to CT, and had been hospitalized there following a suicide attempt. "As I reported previous year, a single source male DNA profile was developed from evidence taken from Lisa's body", Gulluni said.

Hampden County prosecutors had released a sketch of a suspect that was created by using the genetic markers in that DNA to come up with the man's race, hair, eye and skin color, and other physical features. They were not able to match that DNA in any state or federal DNA registries.

Her body was found days later, on Easter Sunday, in a wooded area off Route 75 in Agawam near the CT border.

Gary Schara was arrested in CT on Saturday, September 16.

Police said, "on the evening of Wednesday, September 13, as a part of this effort, Massachusetts State Police troopers attempted to notify Schara about this process, but he was not home and information was left with someone at the home". "The Ziegert family has exuded nothing but grace and dignity throughout the process and we would love nothing more than to see closure for the Ziegerts and for Lisa".

Schara was arrested at a medical facility in Connecticut and is in the custody of the Connecticut State Police, the district attorney said. He appeared in Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut Monday and waived extradition.

Gulluni's office said the news will be dislcosed during a 2 p.m. news conference in Springfield.

Gulluni noted that the case will now be presented to a Hampden County grand jury and that "After 25 years, it is now my intention, along with my staff, to obtain justice for Lisa by pursuing the prosecution and conviction of Gary Schara".

Although, the district attorney's office did note Monday that Schara had been a person of interest since 1993, Fox 25 Boston reported. "My thoughts remain with Lisa's family, as they remember their daughter and sister", Gulluni said.

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