Police: 1973 killing of women vacationing in Virginia solved

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say they've arrested an 80-year-old man for the slaying of two young women more than 45 years ago.

The Virginia Beach Police Department announced the arrest Tuesday of Ernest Broadnax of St. Albans, New York, on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of rape. He is awaiting extradition to Virginia.

Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler were both 19 years old and on vacation from the Pittsburgh area when they were found dead June 30, 1973, in a cottage near the Atlantic Ocean.

The 19-year-olds were staying at a cottage at 10th Street and Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach where they were found dead on June 30, 1973. The Medical Examiner's Office ruled the deaths as homicides.

According to police, the case went cold after the department was unable to identify a suspect following exhaustive measures.

In Fall 2018, Cold Case Investigators, with the support of the Commonwealth's Attorney, began researching a strong lead they received.

The department statement said its cold case unit followed up on leads and sought out "advanced forensic technology."

The investigators were able to identify 80-year-old Ernest Broadnax of St. Albans, New York as the perpetrator in the case.

Court documents show that the New York Police Department's Cold Case Apprehension Squad took the 80-year-old into custody on Monday.

Virginia Beach police also thanked the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and law enforcement officials in New York.

Broadnax is awaiting extradition to Virginia.

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