Suspect arrested in 1990s cold-case murders on Long Island - New York News

Suspect arrested in 1990s cold-case murders on Long Island

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John Bittrolff faces murder charges. (Suffolk County Police Department photo) John Bittrolff faces murder charges. (Suffolk County Police Department photo)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Authorities on Long Island have arrested a suspect in two cold case murders dating to the 1990s.

John Bittrolff, a married father of two, is the lead suspect in the deaths of two prostitutes whose bodies were found within months of each other in late 1993 and early 1994, authorities said.

Police arrested the 48-year-old, who was arraigned at the district court in Central Islip.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota told The Associated Press that Bittrolff is not believed to be connected to the unsolved murders of at least 10 people whose bodies were found near a highway around Gilgo Beach in recent years.

"There's no evidence or investigatory link between these murders," Spota told the AP. "The manner in which these bodies were found is very unique and very different from the Gilgo crime scene."

Bittrolff's family member came to his defense after the appearance, saying they love him very much.

Authorities charged him with two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Colleen McNamee, 20, and Rita Tangredi, 31, whose family was emotional leaving court.

In November 1993, Tangredi's nude body was found in a wooded area off of Esplanade Drive in East Patchogue. A few months later, in January 1994, McNamee's body was found in the woods near the William Floyd Parkway in Shirley.

Both women were known prostitutes.

Spota said Brittrolff's brother Timothy was convicted of a crime just last year, legally requiring him to submit DNA to forensics, which ultimately led investigators to John.

"Forensics scientists from the Suffolk County crime lab learned the male family member who provided the DNA sample was not the killer but a blood relative was the killer," Spota said.

Authorities believe Brittrolff may be responsible for the December 1993 Southampton murder of Sandra Castilla, which happened in between the deaths of Tangredi and McNamee.

"This possible connection between those two murders and Ms. Castilla is under investigation at this time," Spota said.

Authorities said Bittrolff had a criminal record predating the murders, but hadn't been arrested since. The judge remanded the suspect to jail without bond because of the seriousness of the charges.

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