Inside the Evidence: 1991 murder and arson

October 26, 2018 11:22 PM

News10NBC is taking you Inside the Evidence. We're going where you can't: inside police investigations of unsolved murders. 
Rochester Police say Mary Miele was an innocent woman. The 62-year-old was killed in her own home in Rochester nearly 30 years ago. She was found brutally beaten and killed. Her house was also set on fire. News10NBC's Nikki Rudd spoke with the RPD investigators working on the case. 

Nikki Rudd: "Why would anyone want to kill this this woman?"


RPD Investigator Mike Houlihan:  "That I can't answer. It makes no sense to me. Why a 62-year-old woman who lives alone, minds her own business, doesn't bother anybody would become a victim of such a horrendous crime." 

It was four in the morning on Tuesday, May 28, 1991. 

RPD Investigator Matt Klein: "A call came into 911. The Rochester Fire Department responded to 107 Burrows Street for the report of a house fire."

While putting out the fire, Marie Miele's body was found in a dining room that had been converted into a bedroom. News10NBC obtained never before seen pictures from the crime scene. 

Inv. Klein: "She was set on fire. Also, there was some other trauma to the upper part of her body."

Back in 1991, News10NBC interviewed the neighbor on Burrows Street who called 911. 

Neighbor: "Then I went down out into the driveway and saw smoke coming out of her windows. I went back in grabbed my pants and hollered at my wife to call 911. I went out and tried to see if I could get her up. I knocked on her side door, and there was no answer."
That's because Marie was already dead. Her body was badly burned, but it wasn't the fire that killed Marie. She was beaten to death. The Medical Examiner said she died of head trauma. 

Inv. Klein: "It appeared the fire was set to hide evidence of a crime inside the house."
Investigators Matt Klein and Mike Houlihan with the Rochester Police Department say this was a home invasion and burglary that ended with a murder and arson. 

Inv. Houlihan: "It's horrendous. I'm angry every time I read these reports." 
Investigators believe more than one person was involved and broke into the home through a side window. Some of Marie's personal items, like her driver's license and credit cards, were found a block and a half away. Police have looked into several potential suspects. Some of them lived in Marie's neighborhood. 

Inv. Houlihan: "Over the years, they've worked their way through the criminal justice system. They're known to law enforcement."
News10NBC found out investigators have just resubmitted evidence in the case for new touch DNA testing that wasn't available 27 years ago. 

Inv. Houlihan: "Hopefully we'll be able to come up with a DNA hit off of it that would tie one or more of the individuals we've been looking at to this crime."
Nikki: "These people should be off the streets."

Inv. Houlihan: "Oh, absolutely. Anybody that did this, even if 27 years ago, they did it and someone thinks they turned their life around. Anybody that participated in a crime like this needs to be held accountable."

Anyone with information on the murder of Marie Miele is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (585) 423-9300. 

Click here to see a story News10NBC aired on the murder in 1991 along with video of the crime scene. 


Nikki Rudd

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