THE decades-long mystery of an elderly veteran who disappeared after a visit to a hairdresser in 1976 has been solved.
New Yorker Martin Motta, 75, has pleaded guilty to the murder of a World War I veteran after officers used DNA technology to identify a dismembered body found in a backyard.
DNA genealogy linked Motta to the disappearance of George Clarence Seitz, whose fate remained a mystery until police received a powerful tip in 2019.
The tipster took investigators to a Queens property, where they discovered dismembered body parts.
To identify the unknown victim, Queens prosecutors enlisted the help of scientists to solve the cold case.
“We used genetic genealogy,” Queens DA Melinda Katz said, according to NBC4.
“Forensic genealogy to locate the family members and to ask them was there a missing person at the time, do you know anyone about 45 years ago who may have disappeared?”
Investigators collected DNA evidence from the body and were able to identify the victim as missing veteran George Seitz.
“Look, there was a World War I veteran who fought for this country,” Katz said.
“He had gone to France and fought for that country and was reported missing at the age of 81.”
The scientists then created an age-history sketch by referring to an old photograph of Seitz.
“We had to age the photo to 81 years, and thanks to today’s science, we were able to do that and get a witness,” the prosecutor said.
The witness referred investigators to Motta – a hairdresser believed to be behind the chilling disappearance.
Investigators believe Seitz went to Motta’s hair salon for a haircut before he was robbed, killed, dismembered and buried in the Queens backyard.
Motta targeted Seitz because, according to the police, he was carrying a large amount of cash.
The barber pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Monday.
Officials celebrated that justice was served despite the case spanning over 40 years.
“It’s extremely important to know that someone is standing for justice and that someone is being held accountable,” the prosecutor said.
The now 75-year-old Motta now faces 20 years in prison.
He is due to be sentenced in early November.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6484043/mystery-man-missing-after-going-to-barbershop/ Startling discovery in missing man case who was found dismembered after never returning from trip to the barber