After 26 years, justice is served

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

It's never too late for justice to be served. After 26 years, a Mishawaka family gets the news they've been waiting for.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed charges against 47 year-old Daniel Kevin Seltzer for killing 28-year old Gerald Gherardi in 1981.

Seltzer has been behind bars since 1983, convicted of murdering 34 year-old George Lamphere, also of Mishawaka.

Both victims were organists and both were found choked to death in their apartments.

George Gherardi and his wife Karen say, “His piano is still in our apartment with his picture above it”

This is the first time in years that George and Karen could really smile as they talk about one of the most devastating days of their lives.

Karen says, “When they said they think they have him there was such a sigh of relief.”

It's been a rough road for the couple, but they've had each other to help them through the pain of losing George's older brother Gerald.

When he didn't show up at St. Patrick's church to lead the choir, they knew something was wrong.

The next morning, Gerald's mom walked into his Mishawaka apartment and found him strangled to death in the bathtub.

Karen says, “It changed her completely. She was devastated.

They wish mom was here today to hear the news from police that Daniel Kevin Seltzer has been charged with the gruesome murder of her son, but she died years ago.

George says, “We always had the hope, but always the doubt that there was not enough to put it together."

But, they did from matching DNA taken from cigarette butts found at the crime scene with Seltzer's.

George says, “I think with the advancement of forensic technology and I think the county metro homicide unit played a big part.”

As Karen and George share some memories of Gerald, a music teacher whose passion became his profession, they wish their children could've had him in their lives.

Karen says, “He would've loved his nieces and nephew--loved them.

The Gherardi's say this news couldn't have come at a better time. Seltzer was scheduled to be released from prison Friday after serving his sentence for George Lamphere's murder.

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