LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams on Monday announced a breakthrough in a nearly 45-year-old cold case homicide investigation.
Lindy Sue Biechler, 19, was found stabbed to death in the Spring Manor apartment complex on Kloss Drive, near Millersville.
Police have been investigating her death ever since, but have been unable to charge a suspect in the case.
David Sinopoli, 68, of the 300 block of Faulkner Drive, Lancaster, has been arrested and charged with criminal homicide, and is being held in prison without bail, Adams said Monday in a press conference.
Sinopoli was a resident of the Spring Manor apartment complex where Biechler was killed, Adams said.
He was charged after receiving information from the Virginia-based DNA laboratory, Parabon NanoLabs.
The agency, which also helped break the cold-case murder of Christy Mirack in 2018, Adams said Monday.
Raymond "DJ Freeze" Rowe was developed as a suspect in that case thanks to information provided to investigators by Parabon NanoLabs. He pleaded guilty in January 2019 to Mirack's murder, though he was attempted to withdraw that plea in the years since then.
In 2019, Parabon NanoLabs released an image of a fair-skinned, dark-haired man at the ages of 25 and 65 that could resemble the suspect in the case, based off its findings from the DNA sample provided by investigators.
Investigators at the time suggested her killer might no longer be living.
Sinopoli has remained in Lancaster County in the years following Biechler's murder, Adams said.
He was being held without bail and is awaiting a preliminary arraignment, according to Adams.
Here's a partial timeline of previous developments Biechler's case, compiled by Lancaster Newspapers in 2019:
Dec. 5, 1975: Biechler's body is found in her apartment at Spring Manor. She had been stabbed 19 times by two different knives, according to prosecutors. A footprint, believed to be made by a male, is found in the apartment's kitchen.
Dec. 9-10, 1975: Lancaster newspapers report that police are asking for information on a car that was double-parked near the apartment complex between 7 and 8:40 p.m. The car's headlights were on. The car is described as a dark-colored, standard-size American car.
Dec. 10, 1975: Biechler's husband is dismissed as a suspect after investigators determined he was at work when the murder happened. Reports say police spoke to nearly 100 people in the days after the murder.
Feb. 7, 1976: The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reports police say they have interviewed between 250 and 300 people. They believe the killer is in the Lancaster area.
March 5, 1976: Mary Schinzing, 43, is stabbed to death in her Columbia home. Investigators begin to probe similarities between her death and Biechler’s.
March 16, 1976: Kenneth Dale Arndt, 33, of Columbia, is charged with killing Schinzing. Police say they don't believe he was involved in Biechler's death.
Dec. 26, 1976: Biechler's family discovers her tombstone at Boehm's United Methodist Church in Pequea Township has been vandalized. The stone was sprayed with red paint, chipped and nicked. Damage was done sometime since the end of November.
Jan. 5, 1977: Manor Township police receive a letter marked "Urgent." It is written as if it is from the man who stabbed Biechler and vandalized her tombstone. Police consider the letter a hoax and decide not to publish it.
Oct. 30, 1982: Police consider questioning mass murderer Gerald Eugene Stano about Biechler's murder. Stano was arrested in April in Florida and claimed responsibility for murdering at least 37 women. His father lived in East Hempfield Township at the time of Biechler's murder. Police circulate photos of Stano but don't find anyone who recognizes him, according to a New Era report.
Jan. 4, 1983: The Lancaster New Era reports that Manor Township police all but rule out Stano as Biechler's killer.
Jan. 18, 1984: The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reports that the district attorney's office paid $2,000 for two California-based psychics to evaluate Biechler's case in 1981 or 1982. The psychics said it was their impression that Biechler's assailant had a tattoo on his arm and had dark or olive skin and dark or brown hair and eyes. County detective Paul Wagner says the psychics may have been describing Mark Capollupo, who had been charged with sexual assaults in Lancaster County in 1975 and was later shot and killed by a guard during an escape attempt at Lancaster County Prison. Capollupo fit the psychics’ description, but he had been ruled out as a suspect. He was working when Biechler was stabbed.
April 6, 1984: Wagner and a state trooper travel to interview someone out-of-state with a possible link to Biechler's murder, the Intelligencer Journal reports. District Attorney Henry S. Kenderine Jr. says the interview did not lead to anything.
April 2, 1989: The Lancaster Sunday News reports that investigators tried to use new DNA technology to analyze a spot of dried blood suspected of belonging to Biechler or her murderer, but the sample could not be analyzed.
June 1992: Detective Joseph P. Geesey retires as head detective of Lancaster city police and is hired as a county detective to concentrate on unsolved murders. Biechler's death is one of the first.
Dec. 6, 2000: Law enforcement decide to release the letter sent to Manor Township a year after Biechler's murder. A behavioral specialist with the FBI tells a Lancaster New Era reporter that it's unlikely the killer wrote the letter. The writer possibly had an indirect or secondary role, the specialist says.
June 16, 2006: LNP reports that Lancaster County detectives present Biechler's case to the Vidocq Society, a group of 50 crime experts that meets monthly to hear unsolved cases and offer insights to investigators.
Dec. 3, 2007: The New Era reports that Mike Little, Biechler's half-brother, puts up a billboard on Route 30 near Route 283 asking for tips about her murder.
June 26, 2018: Police charge Raymond "DJ Freez" Rowe, 49, with the rape and murder of Christy Mirack, a 25-year-old schoolteacher who was killed Dec. 21, 1992.
July 16, 2018: LNP reports that Philip D. Biechler, Biechler's husband at the time of her death, wonders if the technology used to arrest Mirack's killer could be used to find the person who killed his late wife.
Sept. 5, 2019: Investigators release two images, generated from DNA at the 1975 murder scene, of what the killer might have looked like at age 25 and age 65.
July 18, 2022: Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams announces the arrest of David Sinopoli, 68, for the murder of Lindy Sue Biechler in 1975. Adams said investigators were able to develop Sinopoli as a suspect thanks to a profile based on DNA analysis from Parabon NanoLabs, the Virginia-based firm that helped break the cold-case murder of Christy Mirack in 2018.