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Building manager who confessed to murdering teen in bathtub let mother make horrific discovery

A DNA link may have solved a decades-old cold case

Police have named a suspect in the nearly 40-year-old rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl who was found dead in her bathtub in 1977.

According to the Deseret News, Patrick McCabe confessed for the brutal killing of Sharon Schollmeyer on Wednesday after DNA linked the suspect to the crime nearly four decades later. Formal charges are still pending.

McCabe, who is now 59 and has been living in Florida, was no stranger to the victim: He was the building manager at the Salt Lake City apartment building where she lived, and let Sharon’s mother into the apartment when she went to check on her daughter — knowing full well what she would find.

 

“What kind of guts he had,” Sally Kadleck told the Deseret News. “I mean, really he knew what he had done and yet he went ahead and let me in.”

McCabe was charged on Friday with murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual assault. He reportedly confessed to police that he entered Sharon’s apartment with his key, held a knife to her while he raped her, and carried her to the bathtub where he strangled her and held her down in six inches of water. He used the halter top Sharon was wearing to gag her during the attack.

According to the Deseret News, investigators submitted the halter top for DNA testing in 2013. When the DNA was submitted to a national sex offender database last year, McCabe came up as a match. He was jailed in 1999 for a sexual offense against a minor.

Kadleck told the Deseret News that she was surprised and relieved to have some closure on her daughter’s brutal murder.

“You don’t really hold out much hope after all these years,” she said.

 

Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department