David Vincent Sinopli, 68, was arrested on July 17, 2022 for the December 5, 1975 rape and murder of 19-year-old Lindy Sue Biechler in Manor Township, Pennsylvania.
Biechler was stabbed to death in her home by an intruder with a knife from her own kitchen. She was stabbed numerous times in her back, chest, and neck, and had several defensive wounds. When she was found, the knife was sticking out of her neck, and had been wrapped with one of her tea towels. This obscured any prints the suspect may have left.
A DNA sample of the suspect was collected from semen found on Biechler’s underwear. Two blood drops were later found on her pantyhose which were consistent with the DNA profile developed from the semen. The profile was uploaded to CODIS, but there were no hits.
The FGG investigation was conducted by Paragon Nanolabs. Genetic genealogist CeCe Moore could only find distant relatives to the suspect. She narrowed down the search to a group of about 2,300 persons who had immigrated from the southern Italian town of Gasperina to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She found a local club that had membership cards of Italian residents, and she used this information, along with immigration records from Ellis Island and draft registration cards from both World Wars, to identify Sinopoli.
The initial confirmation was made in February of 2022 through the surreptitious sampling of a coffee cup that Sinopoli had discarded at the La Colombe café in the Philadelphia International Airport on his way to board a flight to Amsterdam. True Allele used their DNA mixture interpretation software to resolve the two person mixture on the coffee cup.
Sinopoli lived in the same apartment complex as Biechler and her husband at the time of her murder. He is facing charges of homicide in Lancaster County. Before his arrest, this was the oldest cold case in Lancaster County.
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Davis, Wynne. “A Discarded Coffee Cup May Have Just Helped Crack this Decades-Old Murder Case.” NPR, July 20, 2022. Accessed July 20, 2022. https://www.npr.org/2022/07/20/1112475373/coffee-cup-dna-murder-case.