A Used Coffee Cup Solved A 46-Years-Old Mysterious Murder Case

(MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Charlie Kabelac Contributor
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A discarded coffee cup obtained at the Philadelphia airport in February helped solve the 46-years-old cold case murder of Lindy Sue Biechler.

Biechler was 19 when she was stabbed inside her home in 1975, according to a statement from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. Police matched the DNA from the discarded coffee cup with DNA from the crime scene, ultimately leading to the arrest of David Sinopoli, 68, on July 17. (RELATED: Police Arrest Suspect In Unsolved Murder Case From 43 Years Ago)

Biechler’s aunt and uncle discovered her dead on the night of Dec. 5, 1975 at around 8:46 p.m., after Sinopoli stabbed her 19 times. Biechler was found lying on her back with a kitchen knife sticking out of her neck, the statement noted. Police discovered Biechler’s blood on the front door, on the entryway wall of her apartment and on the carpet, signaling she had struggled with Sinopoli.

Police submitted DNA collected from Biechler’s underwear to a database in 2000 but received no matches, according to the statement.

After picking up the case again in 2019, Sinopoli was identified as a suspect through genetic genealogy analysis. With the help of Parabon NanoLabs, police created a suspect profile from the DNA on Biechler’s underwear, including the skin tone, eye and hair color of the suspect, the statement continued. (RELATED: Black Man On Death Row For 26 Years Exonerated After Newly-Examined Evidence Shows No Connection)

Further DNA research in 2020 revealed the suspect to be of Italian ancestry, according to the police statement. Police then matched these characteristics to Sinopoli’s profile and collected his DNA from a coffee cup he threw away at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Sinopoli now awaits trial in the Lancaster County Prison without bail, the statement noted.