FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A suspected serial killer has been linked to the death of a New Jersey high school student whose naked, battered body was found alongside a highway 50 years ago.
State police and Monmouth County prosecutors announced their findings Wednesday.
They said a new analysis of evidence links Robert Zarinsky to the 1965 death of 18-year-old Mary Agnes Klinsky. An autopsy determined the Raritan High School senior had been sexually assaulted and died from skull fractures caused by significant blunt-force trauma.
Zarinsky was serving life for another teenage girl's killing when he died in prison in November 2008. He was about to stand trial for the 1968 murder of a 13-year-old girl.
Prosecutors say DNA evidence excluded everyone but Zarinsky as a suspect in the Klinsky killing. They would not elaborate on the other corroborative evidence, but said investigators know Zarinsky was in the area where Klinsky was last seen and was very familiar with the area where she lived and where her body was found.
Klinsky, one of nine children, was last seen headed to a corner mailbox to send a letter to her fiancee in the Navy. Items of evidence were secured from the crime scene and during the autopsy, authorities said, but the scientific technology at the time did not detect a DNA profile of the suspect.
"The dogged determination of our investigators and those at the New Jersey state police has provided closure for the Klinsky family," acting county Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. "After more than half a century, they know who killed their sister and the residents of Monmouth County have a clearer understanding of the murderous reach of one of our most notorious serial killers in our history."
Two of Klinsky's siblings met with investigating officers shortly before the charges were announced, Gramiccioni said. He said the family members commended the work of all the law enforcement agencies involved and indicated they are gratified that their sister can now rest in peace."