New DNA match leads to cold case arrest

NORWALK – More than 25 years after a young woman was kidnapped from a local home and sexually assaulted, city police said Saturday that new DNA testing had helped them track down and arrest the woman’s assailant.

norwalkNorwalk police Lt. Paul Resnick said 66-year-old Osvaldo Muniz was arrested Friday morning at his job in Bridgeport.

Muniz was charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree aggravated sexual assault and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted for the violent attack that allegedly took place in the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 1988.

Police said on that morning a 19-year-old woman was  sleeping in the basement of a friend’s home on Wolfpit Avenue when she was awoken by footsteps. She went upstairs and was suddenly grabbed from behind with a knife put to her neck.

The assailant allegedly dragged her out of the house, across two lawns and into a wooded area where she was sexually assaulted. Police investigated but the case eventually went cold.

Resnick said that Norwalk Lt. Art Weisgerber and Sgt. Alex Tolnay reviewed the case in 2011 and asked the state crime lab to test DNA from the case. They thought new DNA technology might help find a match. In October of this year, the crime lab said the DNA matched Muniz.

The two investigators got a warrant for Muniz’s DNA in November and this week the crime lab again confirmed the match.

Bond for Muniz has been set at $500,000 and he is due to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Dec. 16.


Wes Duplantier