Police solve 1977 rape, murder of Utah teen

Sharon Schollmeyer_229445

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KTVX) — Police in Utah think they have solved a cold case nearly 40 years in the making thanks to DNA evidence.

Sixteen-year-old Sharon Schollmeyer was found raped and murdered in her Salt Lake City apartment in 1977.

Patrick McCabe was the manager at her apartment building at the time and police now think he is responsible.

According to court papers filed Thursday, Schollmeyer had been working as a waitress. When she didn’t show up for work, her mother was called.

Schollmeyer’s mother went to her daughter’s apartment, and was let in by McCabe.

While he waited in the living room, she discovered her daughter’s naked body in six inches of water in the bathtub.

She had “a gag in her mouth and a blindfold over her eyes,” according to court documents.

In 2013, a detective submitted the gag for DNA testing.

Three years later, officials discovered the DNA matched McCabe who had moved to Florida where he was convicted for a sexual offense against a minor nearly two decades ago.

Documents show McCabe later admitted to raping and strangling Schollmeyer in 1977.

Investigators said formal charges are expected in the coming days.

“You can’t put it into words,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said of solving the case. He credited great police work and a determination from detectives who would not give up.

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