Patience and persistence may have paid off for police who spent years trying to find out who killed John and Carolyn Tarwacki.
It was in the early morning hours of February 2010 that the Tarwacki’s were slain in their Carberry Road home north of Niles.
On Wednesday afternoon, 28 year old Niles resident Keith James Lintz was arrested. Today Lintz was arraigned via closed circuit television and charged with two counts of murder.
Lintz told the judge that he had no money to hire an attorney, that he was out of work, and that he was living with his grandmother.
When Lintz was asked if he had previous court appearances, he replied, “yes ma’am.” When asked if he attended those hearings, Lintz replied, “I had two or three that I didn’t go to.”
Lintz was denied bond and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on November 1st.
“Early on in the investigation Keith Lintz’s name came up, a week after the task force started,” said Det. 1st Lt. Christensen.
But because police believe that Lintz acted alone, solving the case apparently took a lot of time, and talking. “The investigation consisted of the review and follow up on 725 tips and the formal interview of 381 people to include four different states (Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Pennsylvania)” said Det. 1st Lt. Chuck Christensen with the Michigan State Police.
Eventually, some of those interviewed allegedly told police that they heard Lintz admit his involvement. “He told several people and made statements to them which were beneficial to the investigation,” said Det. 1st Lt. Christensen.
Police also kept close tabs on what Lintz was doing. “Actually myself, Det. Sgt. Suarez and Victor Fitz went down to Tennessee on a case a very violent case in which he was involved, and interviewed the victim on that as well as some other people,” said Det. 1st Lt. Christensen.
Lintz was also arrested in South Bend in April of 2011 for allegedly choking a woman who was the mother of his child. Those charges were dropped in August of that year when the victim became uncooperative.
The Tarwacki double murder case was so complex that Cass County asked for assistance from the Michigan Attorney General. Not only was that assistance granted, but the A.G. office will co-prosecute the case.
Today, officials declined to speculate on a motive for the crimes, saying that would likely come out in future court sessions.
All the prosecutor would say about a possible connection between Lintz and the Tarwacki’s was that they lived close to one another.