Cecil Trent Killed Lisa Fracassi Nearly 40 Years Ago: Cops

Lisa Fracassi

Lisa Fracassi was 37 years old when she was brutally murdered in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1994. Now, nearly 30 years later, police say they’ve finally found their killer — though he’s not being brought to justice.

Cecil H. Trent was 29 when he killed the exotic dancer and aspiring nurse, investigators said. The alleged killer himself died in Honolulu in 2013. Although he was never arrested, he was the only suspect, according to police.

“She was a caring person, like a nurse who would sit for hours with people who needed help,” she said America St. Thomas, one of Fracassi’s friends, at the time of the murder. “She wanted to be a nurse and started dancing to save money for school. But with a regular job, going to nursing school is difficult. Once you get into the nightlife, it’s even harder.”

Private detective Debra Allen offered her perspective on the case in remarks Honolulu-based CBS affiliate KGMB and NBC affiliate KHN.

“Law enforcement is saying, ‘We have time to go back,’ and let’s look at the DNA in this case and see if there’s some sort of new technology that can be used to make that DNA usable today with today’s technology.” ‘ she told the TV station.

Fracassi was last seen alive in the early hours of Halloween in 1994. Her body was found on November 3, 1994 – strangled in her own apartment in Waikiki, Hi.

Eventually the case went cold. Crucially, though the unsolved murder simmered for decades, the year before the victim’s death, the Honolulu Police Department began using a reliable DNA storage method that avoided contamination.

In 2020, police turned over DNA and fingerprints from the crime scene to Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia-based company specializing in providing law enforcement phenotyping services.

The company has been instrumental in creating profiles that have helped resolve police departments and prosecutors across the country countless colds in the past few years. genealogist CeCe Moore would eventually identify Trent as the lone suspect in Fracassi’s murder.

Also helpful in solving the mystery was a public DNA database similar to popular genealogy websites like Ancestry.com or 23andMe.

“His relatives eventually uploaded their DNA to a public DNA site called GEDMatch,” Allen, who was not working on the case, told Hawaii News Now. “From then on, they might not even know he did anything.”

The suspect’s family called He died of heart failure in 2013 at the age of 48.

After his death, Trent’s fingerprints were taken. This would later help authorities initially connect him to the March 2021 murder. according to Honolulu-based Fox/CW affiliate KHON.

“When someone dies, their fingerprints are taken,” said a Hawaii Pacific University professor Sheryl Sunia, a former HPD detective familiar with the Fracassi case, explained. “So for identification purposes, we can identify them through fingerprints. So if the fingerprints come back to that, I would think that in a sequence of events they would request a DNA sample for confirmation.”

Local police in Honolulu are currently working on a backlog of cold cases. In 2018, the HPD launched the A’ole Poina (Never Forgotten) Project to work through numerous unsolved murders.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to tell families that you are closing,” Sunia continued. “We know what happened. We know who did this.”

[image via screengrab/Hawaii News Now]

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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/hawaii-police-solve-cold-1994-case-murder-of-exotic-dancer-strangled-to-death-in-her-own-apartment/ Cecil Trent Killed Lisa Fracassi Nearly 40 Years Ago: Cops

James Brien

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