Skip to comments.Hairs Left at Crime Scene Lead to Suspect's Arrest 36 Years Later
Posted on 02/06/2023 1:29:53 PM PST by nickcarraway
On Jan. 26, 2023, detectives assigned to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Robbery/Homicide – Cold Case Unit arrested 55-year-old Michael Lapniewski, Jr., for a murder that occurred in 1987. Detectives conducted an extensive investigation over a period of several years. A suspect was developed after advancements in DNA testing.
According to detectives, on Feb. 9, 1987, deputies responded to a residence in unincorporated St. Petersburg for a deceased person. The victim, 82-year-old Opal Weil was located deceased by her sister-in-law after not answering her telephone. Weil had obvious and visible signs of trauma. Deputies discovered the suspect fled the scene prior to their arrival.
Throughout the course of the initial investigation, detectives discovered the suspect gained entry to the residence after removing a single windowpane entering the Florida room of the residence. Detectives also discovered the phone line to the residence had been cut. Forensic technicians collected evidence left at the scene including several hairs.
Throughout the course of the investigation, a partial DNA profile was developed from the hairs located at the scene, but no matches were identified until recently.
In December 2020, PCSO cold case detectives were assigned to the case. Detectives sent a request to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for additional testing of the hairs located at the scene. Detectives also contacted Parabon Nanolabs to conduct further genealogical testing.
After extensive testing was done by Parabon Nanolabs, family trees were constructed, and familial relatives were identified. Of the relatives identified, Parabon was able to narrow down the suspects to three possible males. After extensive investigation, detectives excluded two of the males, leaving Lapniewski as the primary suspect, who at that time resided a half mile from where the murder occurred.
Detectives learned Lapniewski was currently residing in Waveland, Mississippi. Pinellas County detectives traveled to Mississippi to conduct further investigations. Through various investigative techniques, detectives obtained Lapniewski’s DNA, which was submitted to the FDLE for analysis. Detectives learned the DNA profile obtained by detectives from Lapniewski matched the profile developed from the evidence at the scene.
Lapniewski was arrested in Mississippi and extradited to Pinellas County, where he is being charged with First-Degree Murder.
The investigation continues.
“After 36 years I didn’t lose my looks. Ladies take note.”
‘Hybristophilia’ is the term for women who have urges to mate with men in prison, including with serial killers and other infamous types.
Many have their choice of women competing for them with dozens of letters or emails written to them.
Punk then, and still a punk!
23 and Thee
Friggin lawyers. You crack me up
Depends on where the hairs were found. Hairs found on the lawnmower, or on the sofa would not be conclusive. Hairs found on the victim’s person, or on the murder weapon would be compelling evidence.
“After extensive investigation, detectives excluded two of the males, leaving Lapniewski as the primary suspect, who at that time resided a half mile from where the murder occurred.”
I imagine that other parts of the investigation provided evidence not discussed in this brief article. Just like the initial news of the Idaho killer was pretty limited, but now we have heard quite a bit.
Of course no cell phone data for this guy, and going through his stuff today won’t uncover any bloody clothing or rags.
I hope there is more evidence than just hair. After all, everyone sheds hair every day everywhere they go and can be picked up on shoes or clothing and carried into homes. Hopefully, the hair was actually on the body.
Why are you connecting that to this case? The victim was 82 years old and the suspect cut her phone lines and murderer her after breaking in throgh her window. Suspect never even said this from what I can see in the article.
A few years back, I shook hands with an elderly lady at church and one of her finger nails accidently scratched the back of my hand. Right away it occurred to me that if anyone kills her, I’m gonna hang.
Our laws do not include your quoted Biblical standard
Obviously, when the two-witness rule was written, it was a given that the witnesses would be human. At this point, with the advances made in both investigation expertise and in the technologies now available, a witness could be a camera or DNA, as well as humans.
If two witnesses would be required, most of the murders would go unsolved.
Don’t know if you are being silly or obtuse, but you are very rarely going to have any witness to a murder, much less two. And in many if not most of those cases those involved would just point the finger at one another.
” The biblical standard is that a person should be convicted of a crime on the testimony of two or more witnesses (Deut. 17:6), and that remains astute advice. “
Two witnesses for the death penalty.
OTOH the witnesses apply the death sentence.
That was before crime became rampant and investigative devices were created. With the absence of two or more witnesses, over 90 percent of the crimes committed would be unsolved.
You can't apply ALL biblical verses to modern day.......
IF I had a friend or family member who was the victim in a cold case-—I would want every possible method used to find the killer.
The Bible couldn’t have predicted DNA.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.