An elderly man in New York City has been arrested for the 1973 slayings of two 19-year-old women who were vacationing in Virginia Beach at the time.
The New York Times reports that DNA evidence recovered from the crime scene was matched this fall with Ernest Broadnax’s profile in a national database. Broadnax, 80, was arrested Monday on a fugitive warrant for the murders of Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler and is currently awaiting extradition to Virginia.
Residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pietropla and Seethaler were vacationing in Virginia Beach for a week when they were killed.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that the two women were found murdered when the missed their check-out time. Pietroaola was raped, strangled, and shot three times. Seethaler was strangled, shot twice in the head, and her throat was also slashed with a broken wine bottle.
Police reportedly said at the time that the suspect may have removed a screen from the window and gained access to the cottage. However, authorities were unsure whether the suspect had waited for Pietropla and Seethaler or broke in while the women slept.
Robbery was not considered a motive in the slayings as the contents of the women’s pocketbooks were dumped on the floor, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Broadnax has lived in New York since at least 1990, where he’s been incarcerated three times for various crimes, including assault, the New York Times reports.. He was ordered to submit his DNA because he was convicted of a felony.
According to the New York Daily News, police arrested Broadnax at his apartment in a housing facility for military veterans. A neighbor told the outlet that arresting officers gave the octogenarian a bottle of water and hauled him out without handcuffing him.
“They gave it to him, dressed him up, and he went quietly. He went very quietly,” the neighbor said. “He knew he did it. They couldn’t find him, and all of the sudden they found him.”
Authorities haven’t revealed what technology was used to link Broadnax to the murders. A motive in the slayings also remains unknown.
Chief Cervera speaking of the recent development and arrest regarding the June 30, 1973 double homicide.
Posted by Virginia Beach Police Department on Wednesday, April 10, 2019
[Featured image: Janice Pietropola, Lynn Seethaler/Virginia Beach Police Department]