charges in the 1993 murder of Tricia Pacaccio, the parents of the slain teen blasted the Cook County State’s attorney’s office for failing to act on a 2003 match between the primary suspect and DNA discovered on their daughter’s fingernails…">

Pacaccio Parents Blast Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

As prosecutors prepared to announce charges in the 1993 murder of Tricia Pacaccio, the parents of the slain teen blasted the Cook County State’s attorney’s office for failing to act on a 2003 match between the primary suspect and DNA discovered on their daughter’s fingernails…

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THE LONGEST WAIT »
From our July 2011 issue: A look at the 1993 murder

NEW EVIDENCE SURFACES IN PACACCIO CASE »
including an exclusive interview with one of the witnesses

As prosecutors prepared to announce charges in the 1993 murder of Tricia Pacaccio, the parents of the slain teen blasted the Cook County State’s attorney’s office for failing to act on a 2003 match between the primary suspect and DNA discovered on their daughter’s fingernails.

“My husband and I both feel that what Cook County did is, once they found DNA, instead of pursuing [the suspect] Michael [Gargiulo], they made false excuses on why DNA was on her. How pathetic,” said Tricia’s mother, Diane, in an exclusive statement given Thursday to Chicago.

The mother also said she believes charges never would have been filed against Gargiulo for their daughter’s murder had he not been indicted by Los Angeles authorities in connection with two murders there—one of which occurred after the 2003 DNA match—and an attempted murder.

“As long as he murdered only my daughter, they didn’t care. They didn’t do anything about it,” the mother said. “They were willing to leave it an open case forever. Again, how pathetic.”

UPDATE (2 p.m.): At Thursday’s news conference, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez sympathized with the Pacaccios. “I know this family is suffering,” she said. “We can only imagine what they’ve been going through all these years.”

However, as she has in the past, Alvarez defended the decision not to charge Gargiulo in 2003, citing procedural problems in the collection of the DNA. She also repeated arguments previously made by her office that Tricia Pacaccio could have gotten Gargiulo’s DNA on her through casual contact—a contention that Tricia’s parents call “insulting.”

It wasn’t until the emergence of two new witnesses—exclusive details of which were provided here by Chicago in a June 15 online update—that she felt she had sufficient evidence to charge Gargiulo, Alvarez said. The DNA alone, she said, was “not the silver bullet.”

After the news conference, the Pacaccios parents said they are also incensed that Alvarez did not thank Cook County sheriff’s detective Lou Sala, who put his retirement on hold to pursue what had become a cold case.

The father, Rick Pacaccio, also said they “need to process all this” before commenting further. “This is Tricia’s day,” he said.

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3 years ago
Posted by ns510

Maybe if the Cook County Sherriff's Department had done their job back in 2003.......or earlier..........then maybe the girls that were murdered in California would still be alive today. If the Cook County State's Attorney had done something when the DNA match came back as positive the Pacaccio's would have some closure. Even the Glenview Police that were on the 48 Hours program stated that the Cook County Sherriff's Department blew it. You had DNA but you said it wasn't enough to charge him? You have put people away for less than that and then you sit on it for how long? I agree with Mrs. Pacaccio's comment that Cook County Sherriff's Department is pathetic, Cook County blew it all the way around and deserve every single negative comment they get.

3 years ago
Posted by chester

It is my opinion that the Cook County Illinois State's Attorney's office would have charged the suspect promptly had they had the necessary tools and evidence to charge AND convict the suspect. To suggest that an office or a police department is incompetent simply because it does not meet somebody's time-frame is simply a knee jerk, and uninformed allegation. All murder investigations contain information that ONLY the killer would know, and that evidential/information is not shared with anyone, not even the family. There is no doubt that there are mitigating circumstances preventing charges being filed.

There is no statute of limitations on murder, and a rush-to-judgment without all of the ducks in a row certainly will not bring this poor woman back, and definitely favors the suspect by taking the risk of him being acquitted and forever never to be brought to justice. Casey Anthony is a pretty good example these days of not having air-tight evidence to convict, and now she is walking free.

I think the Cook County Sheriff's Police and the Cook County State's Attorney's office should be commended for holding their cards close to the chest until they were finally able to show them, and bring a murderer to justice beyond a reasonable doubt. To me, that's a sign of intelligent, determined dedication to duty. God Speed. Now maybe Tricia can finally have the justice deserved.

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