Cops close 1976 murder of First World War veteran missing 45 years

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First World War hero George Clarence Seitz left his home in Queens, NY, for a haircut and never came home.

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Seitz, 81, vanished in December 1976 and had been missing since that time until 2019 when his dismembered remains were discovered buried in the backyard of a Richmond Hill, Queens home.

Now, nearly 45 years later, cops say a Queens man has been charged with second-degree murder in the cold case. Martin Motta, 74, was indicted by a grand jury.

While authorities discovered the pelvis and part of the torso, it took two years for them to identify the remains as Seitz’s. According to the New York Post, the medical examiner’s office made a DNA profile but was unable to link it to any relatives.

The Post said that earlier this year, NYPD detectives and the Queen’s DA asked for help from a private lab that was able to generate a genealogical profile for Seitz. The FBI discovered potential relatives for the dead man and passed the information on to local cops.

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Once detectives obtained DNA from family members, they were able to positively identify the remains.

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Prosecutors allege once they identified the body, “crucial evidence” was uncovered connecting Motta to the slaying.

The accused is being held without bail and cops have not said how Seitz died or offered a motive.

“After 45 years, the alleged killer of a WWI veteran is being held accountable and brought to justice,” Queens DA Katz alleged in a press release. “We hope the identification of the remains and the indictment in this case will begin to bring peace and closure to his loved ones.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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