A cold case involving a man in the Valley got a major break Friday. State Police say they have arrested a Timberville man accused of murdering his wife in 1995.
Police say 44-year-old Lawrence Gaudenzi was arrested without incident during a traffic stop by State Police in Shenandoah County. Lisa Kathy Gaudenzi was 31 years old at the time of her disappearance. Thirteen years later, justice may be served.
Sgt. Thomas A. Cunningham, Jr., Virginia State Police says, "Initially the suspect, Lawrence Gaudenzi, reported his wife missing to the Caroline County Sheriff's Office in 1995."
However, officials became curious. The arrest comes after 11 years of investigation by special agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Cunningham says at the time of Lisa's disappearance, the couple lived in Caroline County. Her husband, the suspect, subsequently moved to the Valley.
Cunningham says, "Virginia State Police became involved with the missing person case in 1997, and it was since then that agents have conducted numerous interviews with various individuals who provided information about the victim and her husband, and it was based on those findings that that the nature of the case has since been classified as murder."
Lisa was on active duty at the time of her disappearance. Cunningham declined to say whether or not her body was ever found. After 11 years working a stagnant case, special agents now hope to close the lid on an ongoing investigation.
Cunningham says, "There are certainly active components to the investigation and special agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will continue to work on those."
He continues, just before this arrest, crucial information uncovered by special agents resulted in the presentation of the case to a special grand jury by the Caroline County Commonwealth's Attorney.
The grand jury then returned the indictment for murder. Gaudenzi has been transported to the Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County.