Ateam of volunteer cold case investigators has solved the killing of 19-year-old Christina Castiglione nearly 40 years ago, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan announced in a press release on Wednesday.
“On March 21, 1983 Christina Castiglione was reported missing by her mother in Redford Township. On March 29, 1983, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to a deceased body located in the Oak Grove State Game Area on Faussett Rd. in Deerfield Township,” the press release said.
“Deputies responded and found the body of Christina Castiglione partially clothed and lying in a remote wooded area. Detectives found evidence that Christina had been strangled to death and sexually assaulted.”
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 created its cold case unit, which includes retired law enforcement officials who volunteer their time to solve cases like this one, according to WDIV-TV in Michigan.
In the press release, officials said that male DNA was located on Castiglione’s body when she was found, but they noted that “lacking DNA technology,” no suspect was identified at the time.
With help from the nonprofit organization Season of Justice, the Livingston County cold case unit sent DNA evidence to a forensic laboratory in Texas in May 2022. Shortly after receiving the results, investigators identified Charles David Shaw as the suspect.
“His identification was confirmed by three separate familial DNA comparison tests,” the press release said. “Unfortunately, Shaw died in November 1983 and will never be held responsible for his crimes in a court of law.”
Following the identification of the suspect, officials continued their investigation but were unable to find a direct link between Shaw and Castiglione. However, the sheriff’s office said that Shaw’s living relatives revealed that he previously lived less than five miles from Castiglione and “he was described as a sex addict with a disturbing life who struggled with mental illness and his gender identity.”
The press release also noted that Shaw had previous interactions with law enforcement, including an arrest for an attempted abduction of a woman in 1981.
“The cooperation of the Shaw family during the investigation was paramount to identifying Charles Shaw as the person responsible for the homicide of Christina Castiglione,” the press release said.
“We are hopeful that the surviving members of Christina Castiglione, along with victims and families of other violent unsolved crimes who have been awaiting justice for decades, experience closure as genealogical DNA continues to help law enforcement advance efforts to achieve justice for victims.”
Newsweek reached out to the Livingston County Sheriff’s office for further comment.