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DNA Leads To Arrest In Five-Year-Old Lynn Murder Case

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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LYNN (CBS) – An arrest has been made nearly five years after a horrific murder in Lynn. DNA from the 2007 murder scene proved to be the big break.

“I loved her very much and I think of her often,” says Bonnie Keene.

rivera DNA Leads To Arrest In Five Year Old Lynn Murder Case

Joshua Rivera is held without bail for a 2007 murder in Lynn.

Bonnie Keene of Peabody never gave up, hoping some day she would learn who may have killed her 27-year-old daughter Lara Rizzo almost five years ago.

“Someone has to be accountable for it,” she says.

It was August 27, 2007 when the young woman’s body was found in the second floor apartment of a Lynn home. She had been assaulted and strangled.

It was DNA evidence that eventually would lead to the break in this case which dragged on for years. DNA from under Lara Rizzo’s finger tips was matched with DNA from the rape of a 15-year-old girl in Saugus. That is when police began looking for Joshua Rivera.

In court Monday, 27-year-old Joshua Rivera, who lived at times in New York and Lynn, was arraigned on first degree murder charges. As Lara Rizzo’s parents and friends looked on, the Prosecutor Susan Dolhun, described how Stephen Rizzo found his daughter that August morning.

“When Mr. Rizzo entered the bedroom he found his daughter on the floor she had a plastic bag that was covering her head,” says Dolhun.

Lara Rizzo grew up and attended school in Salem, two of her childhood friends were in court Monday.

Kelly Dejesus told reporters, “I just wasn’t sure if it ever going to get solved, if we ever going to get answers.”

Alexia Gagne told reporters, “It is terrible because she was a really good person but hopefully there is justice for Lara and she was not forgotten.”

Investigators say family and friends finally have answers and Joshua Rivera is being held without bail.

Police found alcohol and prescription drugs at the scene. Investigators originally considered the case to be a suspicious death, then later changed it to murder.

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