A 20-year-old college student helps solve the cold case of a 9-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in 1964.

A 20-year-old college student helps solve the cold case of a 9-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in 1964.

A Pennsylvania college student and genealogy expert helped solve the unsolved case of a 57-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted and killed while carrying canned food to church on her way to school in 1964.

9-year-old Marisa Ann Chiverella was last seen around 8:10 am on March 18, 1964.

Her body was found in a quarry in the village of Hazel, more than two miles from her home, at 1:00 pm. Police said she was beaten and sexually assaulted, and canned food was found next to her body, which she used to go to church.

The case remained unsolved until Thursday, when police named the killer as James Paul Forte, a bartender who died of natural causes, possibly from a heart attack, in May 1980.

He was arrested for unrelated sexual assault in 1974, 10 years after he was thought to have killed Chiverella.

Authorities were helped by 20-year-old Eric Schubert, an Elizabethtown College student who went to the police two years ago and compiled a family tree that helped them find Forte, a very distant relative who is believed not to have known Chiverella or her family. .

Nine-year-old Marisa Ann Chiverella was sexually assaulted, beaten, and murdered on March 18, 1964.  Her killer remained unknown for 57 years until Thursday.

Nine-year-old Marisa Ann Chiverella was sexually assaulted, beaten, and murdered on March 18, 1964. Her killer remained unknown for 57 years until Thursday.

James Paul Forte was in his 20s when he is believed to have killed Chiverella.  He died in May 1980 of natural causes, possibly from a heart attack.

James Paul Forte was in his 20s when he is believed to have killed Chiverella. He died in May 1980 of natural causes, possibly from a heart attack.

The police were helped by Eric Schubert, a 20-year-old student at Elizabethtown College, who offered his help to the police two years ago.

The police were helped by Eric Schubert, a 20-year-old student at Elizabethtown College, who offered his help to the police two years ago.

“This is a very important day for our department,” Colonel Mark Baron, lead investigator on the case, said at a press conference on Thursday, according to NBC News.

“Despite the fact that it took almost 58 years to solve this case, I think this should give victims’ families across the state and across the country a sense of hope,” he said.

Barron appeared emotional during the announcement, at one point wiping tears from his eyes with a tissue.

“And that hope is that no matter how long it may take, we as law enforcement will never give up trying to find those responsible for these horrific crimes that are going on. God willing, in life or in death you will be found.

Baron believes Chiverella’s disease is the fourth oldest case in the country to be solved using genetic genealogy.

Chiverella’s family remembered her as a shy girl who dreamed of becoming a nun.

“We have so many precious memories of Marise,” said her sister Carmen-Marie Radtke.

“At the same time, our family will always feel empty and sad because of her absence.”

A 20-year-old college student helps solve the cold case of a 9-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in 1964.

“This is a very important day for our department,” said Colonel Mark Baron, lead investigator on the case, who became visibly emotional during Thursday’s press conference.

Schubert became interested in genealogy at the age of 10.  Since then, he has helped with other unsolved cases in Chicago and the Philadelphia area.

Schubert became interested in genealogy at the age of 10. Since then, he has helped with other unsolved cases in Chicago and the Philadelphia area.

On Thursday, Schubert stood before state police and Lucerne County officials.

The 20-year-old college student became interested in genetic genealogy at the age of 10, according to WNEP.

“When I was a kid, I used to get sick at home a lot, so I would see a genealogy ad and be like, ‘Wait a second, maybe I could do that.’ And I thought it was going to be a two-week project, but I’m here and I’m definitely grateful to have started,” Schubert said.

He helped on other unsolved cases in Chicago and the Philadelphia area. He approached the Pennsylvania State Police when he was 18 two years ago to see if he could help.

“Just reach out and say, ‘Hey, I think I know what I’m doing. If I’m not stepping on any toes, I’d be happy to help.” I didn’t think it would work. But it did, and I’m very grateful for that, because I knew I could at least potentially bring this case closer to being solved. And in the end, you know, I’m happy that we were able to make it happen,” he said.

“We have so many precious memories of Maryse,” said Maryse's sister, Carmen Marie Radtke.

“We have so many precious memories of Maryse,” said Maryse’s sister, Carmen Marie Radtke.

The first breakthrough in the case came in 2007, when the Pennsylvania State Police’s DNA lab developed a profile of a suspect based on a DNA sample left on Maris’s jacket, NBC News reported.

The DNA was entered into a national database and checked regularly.

In 2018, there was another breakthrough when a DNA sample was sent to a genealogy database, where it matched a very distant relative.

DNA helped create a photo rendering using only the suspect’s DNA, predicting what he would look like at 25, 40 and 60 years old.

Schubert appeared soon after. He compiled a DNA-based family tree and helped police search censuses and military records.

“I will never forget when corporal. Baron told me that we had just received that match, because at that moment I knew that we were going to find the assailant. We quickly progressed from that match to a match that ended up being over 1,000 centimorgans,” he said, referring to the unit of measurement for genetic bonding.

The police narrowed down the list to four suspects and settled on Fort.

Forte was in her 20s at the time of the murder, which police said was an “accidental” attack.

Police believe he kidnapped Chiverella on the street and then beat her, raped her, killed her, and threw her into a pit.

He worked at a local bar for decades after the murder and was arrested for sexual assault in 1974, later citing a lesser charge and receiving a year of probation, according to NBC News.

He was arrested on a minor charge in 1978, but did not serve a prison sentence.

Authorities do not believe he ever married.

Forte’s body was exhumed in January. His DNA matched a sample taken from Chiverella’s jacket in 2007.

Schubert said it was the most difficult investigation he’s been involved in, but according to WNEP, he hopes to help with others.

Chiverella’s mother, Mary, died before her daughter’s killer was identified.

“I think about her every day,” Mary told WNEP in 2009. “No matter what we do or someone says something, it always reminds me of her.”

The victim’s brother, Ronald, said Thursday that knowledge of his sister’s killer brings the family “a sense of closure.”

“No full closure, we will never have this, but the feeling of closure that we know the person who did it and that this person is not committing the same crime and harming other young girls like Maris,” he said. .

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