Hampden County DA talks about work on unsolved cases - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Hampden County DA talks about work on unsolved cases

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A day after police arrested a Springfield man and charged him for allegedly murdering an elderly woman more than two decades ago, Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni spoke to CBS 3 about the efforts his office is making on the dozens of unsolved cases in the county.

"For the Springfield cases we analyzed how we could make a difference in the unsolved cases because, sad to say and unfortunate to say, there are a number - a large number of unsolved cases that go back over many, many years," said Mastroianni.

The murder of 90-year-old Myrtle Marrett was one of the unsolved Springfield cases in a small group which the Hampden County District Attorney's Office and the Springfield Police Department chose to re-investigate.

Mastroianni says that five to six Springfield cases are among the small group that officers have been assigned to. The operation which began last spring enables police to get paid for overtime using money seized in drug cases.

Police assigned to the Marrett case were able to arrest a suspect this week after gathering a DNA sample from Faustiano Diaz which was matched with a DNA sample of evidence from the crime scene.

"Often times in cases there would be a small sample that is recovered, a small forensic-type of sample that perhaps wasn't of the quantity able to be tested 15 years ago, 10 years ago or even five years ago whereas new technology will enable you to test even a minute piece of evidence that you couldn't even subject to testing before," said Mastroianni.

Marrett's son, David Marrett, says although he has already made peace with his mother's death he was happy to learn of the arrest.

"Her passing was very hard humanely because she was my best friend," said David Marrett.

In addition to Springfield's efforts, the Massachusetts State Police in conjunction with local departments are working on around five to six cases. The district attorney wouldn't identify all of them but did say that the murders of Lisa Ziegert and Holly Pirainen are among those being investigated.

"My feeling is there is hope to solve those two cases as well as a number of other unsolved cases," said Mastroianni. "I can't announce that we are on the verge of an arrest in either case but I can promise that investigators have been working and are going to continue to work tirelessly."

If you have information regarding any of these unsolved homicide cases you are asked to contact police.

Those with information can text a tip to 274637 - text "SOLVE," then your message. You can also call the State Police Detective Unit at 413-505- 5993 or the Springfield Police Detective Bureau (for Springfield cases) at 413-787-6355.

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