HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A 58-year-old homicide cold case has been solved. State police confirm they know who brutally murdered a 9-year-old Hazleton girl in 1964.
Marise Chiverella was abducted as she walked to school. Her unsolved murder has haunted her family and the entire community.
Troopers say DNA technology helped track the killer and Pennsylvania State Police will hold a press conference Thursday to reveal more information about how they solved the 57-year-old murder case of Marise Ann Chiverella.
The unsolved murder of Marise Chiverella was always present. State police investigators now confirm they know who raped and murdered her.
On Tuesday, Eyewitness News spoke with Chiverella’s cousin who says she will never forget that horrible day.
“You’re thinking of her all the time, and what she went through,” said Jeanette Vayda, Marise Chiverella’s cousin.
Jeanette Vayda is Marise Chiverella’s cousin who was a senior in high school when Marise went missing.
“My uncle called my mom. We went looking for her. I didn’t go to school that day. We were out looking for her and then when they found her it was. I’m glad they found her body because she had a good burial,” said Vayda.
Marise Chiverella was last seen walking on West Fourth Street on March 18, 1964. It was a cold morning as she was walking to St. Joseph’s School. Over the years neighbors say they asked her to come inside to get warm, but she said she had to get canned goods to her school before morning mass.
In a horrific turn of events, Chiverella was kidnapped, raped, and murdered. Her body was found in a coal stripping pit about two miles away. Investigators say she had been bound and gagged while she was raped and strangled to death.
“I still could remember she was such a little quiet kid. She was very religious. She loved playing the organ. She wanted to be a nun as she was growing up,” said Vayda.
In 2019 State Police unveiled images of a possible suspect at ages 25, 40, and 60. Based on DNA technology. Using evidence from the crime scene and bodily fluids found on Chiverella’s clothing, sources close to the investigation tell the I-Team they have identified the killer, a man who is now deceased.
“Thank god they solved it. But I wish he was alive to really suffer for what he did to her,” Vayda said.
Chiverella is buried near her mother and father who passed away not knowing who took away their daughter.
“Very, very hard like to think what she went through, poor kid,” Vayda said.
State police have scheduled a news conference scheduled for Thursday morning to talk about the case.