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I-Team: Police continue search for clues in unsolved murder of Pittston man 25 years after his death


DURYEA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — State troopers say it’s an old case but not a cold case and the 1996 murder of a Luzerne County man can be solved.

And they are reaching out to the public for help. 31-year-old Keith Polerecki from Pittston was murdered 25 years ago, but investigators say they are confident an arrest will be made.

State troopers and Polerecki’s family say they are confident the killer or killers will one day face justice at the Luzerne County Courthouse and they believe that someone out there can provide key information that will help lead to arrest.

“As far as the people, they know who they are and I’m very hopeful soon that this will all come to an end. Justice will definitely be served,” Polerecki’s son, also named Keith, said.

Keith Polerecki was nine years old when his father, 31-year-old Keith Polerecki was murdered. His body was found in a wooded area of Duryea.

“The last time he was seen was August 7th in 1996. His father reported him missing August 12th of 1996. Two days later unfortunately they discovered Keith’s body in the Coxton railyards,” Trooper Caroline Rayeski with state police Wilkes-Barre said.

At first Polerecki’s death was called ‘suspicious.” But his body was exhumed a year later. A second autopsy determined he was murdered based on severe injures to his body. Blunt force trauma, including broken bones and where his body was found.

When asked: “Do you believe that somebody out there knows who may have done this”, Trooper Rayeski replied: “Oh absolutely. I believe there’s many people who know who did this. We just hope somebody will get the courage to come forward and tell us what they know.”

State troopers say new technology available today may help solve this case, namely potential DNA evidence.

“If there is enough DNA, it’s possible we can get DNA possibly link somebody to this murder,” Trooper Deanna Piekanski with state police Wilkes-Barre said.

For Polerecki’s son, the killing of his father still impacts his life.

“Prior to this happening, my dad, he was much involved in my life. I miss him. He was a great dad,” Polerecki said.

Polerecki says the passage of 25 years has not dulled the pain of loss.

“It hurts. It hurts knowing that all these years have passed, 25 years, knowing that these people have not yet been brought to justice. But I’m very hopeful that this will all come to an end. Knowing that all of these years have passed with them just living their lives, it hurts,” Polerecki said.

When asked: “Do you know who’s responsible?” Polerecki replied: “I do. I do know. Like I said, it will be brought up soon. These people will face what they should have 25 years ago.”

State troopers say they are working several leads in the case. If you have any information you are asked to call state police at the Wilkes-Barre barracks.

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