Sharon Schollmeyer Murder: Where is Patrick McCabe Now? – ‘On The Case With Paula Zahn: Salt in the Wound‘ on Investigation Discovery tells the story of the 1977 murder of 16-year-old Sharon Schollmeyer. It was over 4 decades after the teen was raped and killed in her apartment before the police could identify her killer using cutting-edge DNA technology. The episode gives a clear and straightforward account of the incidents that occurred, the investigation that followed, and how the murderer was apprehended after all these years. We can tell you who committed the crime, who it belongs to, and where they are right now. So let’s get started, shall we?
Recommended: Did Jerry Nemke Kill Thomas Freeman? How Did He Die?
Sharon Schollmeyer’s Cause of Death
On January 16, 1961, Sharon “Lecia” Schollmeyer was born in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, in Albuquerque. Sally Kadleck, her mother, described her as a “healthy, attractive, bright” young woman who had lied about her age to get a job waiting tables at a restaurant when she was just 15 years old. She was responsible and resourceful enough to leave her house and obtain her own apartment in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was a mile from her parents’ house.
As a result, it came as a shock when her manager called her mother on December 5, 1977, to inquire about her 16-year-old daughter’s missing from work. Sally drove to Sharon’s apartment at 125 E. 1st Avenue because there wasn’t a phone there, but she discovered the door was locked. To request entry, she called the building manager, Patrick Michael McCabe. Sally walked into Sharon’s apartment and saw her handbag on the table and her bedroom window, which led to a wide-open fire escape. Her daughter was dead in the bathtub when she went into the bathroom.
When the police came, they discovered the deceased completely clothed and just partially submerged in her bathtub’s six inches of water. Her mouth was gagged, her eyes were bound with a halter top, and she had bruises on the outside of her throat. Her hands had likely been tied behind her back based on the nylon rope fragments in the bathtub and the body’s positioning.
The autopsy report showed that she had been strangled and listed asphyxiation as the cause of death. Her garments were strewn across the bedroom floor. However, due to the body being submerged in water, the medical examiner could not discover any proof of a sexual assault. Because of it, biological evidence had been washed away.
Who Killed Sharon Schollmeyer and Why?
Near the bathtub, a huge kitchen knife was discovered by investigators, but neither it nor the crime scene had any blood. The pulled-out drawers and scattered things on the floor suggested a robbery further perplexed the investigators. However, most expensive objects, such as a stereo or a television, had not been stolen. Additionally, the investigators discovered that the fire escape had a 10- to a 12-foot drop to the ground, making it hard for someone to access it from below.
They proposed the scenario in which the assailant entered the house through the front door, locked it behind him, raped and killed Sharon, and then made his getaway down the fire escape. A blanket that was fastened to the fire escape and may have assisted the murderer in climbing down confirmed their argument.
The police questioned every person who lived in Sharon’s flat as part of a thorough inquiry. Upon his return from a late-night party on the night of the murder, Patrick—who performed little maintenance work at the complex in exchange for rent—said he had spotted a strange white man in the lobby.
The police discovered several likely suspects, including a dubious man who was suspected of supposedly watching Sharon from his window across from her flat, but all of their denials were corroborated. Detectives discovered Lonnie, Sharon’s downstairs neighbor, to be a suspect as the inquiry progressed. He allegedly harbored love and affection for Sharon, who consistently turned down his advances. The police also discovered many scratches on the 19-year-back old’s chest when he was taken in for questioning.
The police discovered Lonnie had a criminal history that included violent acts and even an arrest for homicide by Denver police in 1971 as circumstantial evidence against him grew. Investigators had to release Lonnie because they could not establish a connection between him and the crime site. Lonnie gathered his belongings and left Salt Lake City in a matter of weeks. Sharon’s homicide investigation gradually halted due to a lack of new leads or suspects.
When detectives sent the gag and the halter top for DNA testing in 2013 and discovered male DNA traces in the gag’s knots, the case was once more reopened. When the unidentified DNA profile was submitted to CODIS, Patrick McCabe, the former building manager of Sharon’s flat, was found to be a match. His DNA was found in the system following “a 1999 sexual assault involving a kid,” according to court documents. The 60-year-old was detained in Bell, Florida, in December 2016.
Where is Patrick McCabe Now?
Sharon’s all locks were replaced when her apartment was looted a month before her murder, and Patrick had a spare key. In March 2017, he was charged with three first-degree felonies: murder, aggravated burglary, and aggravated sexual assault. If not for a plea agreement he entered into in April 2017 that charged him with second-degree murder and burglary while dismissing the sexual assault counts, he would have received the death penalty.
He received two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in June 2017. According to official court records, the 65-year-old is currently detained at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah, and is being held in a prison cell.