A Florida man has been charged with rape and murder in connection to a cold case dating back 40 years. Patrick Michael McCabe was charged Friday with the equivalent of aggravated murder, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated burglary in the case of 16-year-old Sharon Schollmeyer. All are first-degree felonies, but only the aggravated murder charge is considered to be a capital offense.
McCabe was identified through DNA evidence taken from the scene. At the time the technology did not exist to accurately identify a single suspect, but the evidence was stored until such technology became available. Court documents allege that McCabe, living in Bell, Florida at the time he was arrested, admitted to authorities that he used his key to access the victim's apartment late at night.
According to investigators, McCabe used keys provided to him through his job as the manager at Schollmeyer's apartment complex to sneak in to her unit on Dec. 5, 1977. He picked up a knife from inside the apartment and went into the teen's bedroom. He found her sleeping, then used the knife the threaten the girl while he bound her, raped her, and then proceeded to strangle her in her bathtub. An autopsy later performed on the girl concluded she died from "strangulation and suffocation."
McCabe's official homicide charge is "murder in the first degree," which was the statutory definition that applied to the alleged killing under Utah law in 1977. An initial court date has yet to be scheduled.
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