80-year-old arrested in death of 2 Pittsburgh teens dating back 46 years

Local News
Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler

Virginia Beach police have accused an 80-year-old New York man of killing two teens in a case that’s gone unsolved for 46 years.

The double homicide dates to 1973, when Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler, both 19, traveled from the Pittsburgh area to Virginia Beach to vacation. They were found dead on June 30 inside their oceanfront motel cottage, and their deaths were ruled homicides, police said.

After an exhaustive investigation, the case went cold, police said. The cottage where the teens were slain was destroyed, then rebuilt into motels and shops.

Last fall, Virginia Beach Police cold case investigators, working with the local prosecutor, began to aggressively research a strong lead in the case, police said.

Police on Monday arrested the accused killer: Ernest Broadnax of New York. He was arrested in New York and charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of rape, police said. Broadnax is awaiting extradition, police said. It was not immediately clear if he had retained an attorney.

“What was going through this guy’s mind? What made him pick my sister and her friend? What drove him to this? Those are the questions that as a brother I would want for closure,” Pietropola said.

Broadnax served three prison stints in New York for assault, burglary, and attempted burglary, records show. He was released on parole in 2013.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera declined to describe what led to Broadnax’s arrest, other than saying it was “an advancement in technology.”

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