Press Release for Blatnik
Unsolved Solved Homicide
May 9, 2020 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
James Zastawnik Has Been Arrested for the 1987 Barbara Blatnik Homicide
Cuyahoga Falls, OH – The Cuyahoga Falls Police Department has announced the arrest of James E. Zastawnik for the murder of Barbara Blatnik. The unsolved murder of Barbara Blatnik was the first case for The Porchlight Project, which raised over $6,000 to fund new DNA tests and genetic genealogy. “I want to express an immense amount of gratitude to everyone at The Porchlight Project for the funding that they provided,” says Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters. “They have done an incredible service to the Blatnik family and our police department.”
The genetic genealogical analysis was coordinated by Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick and her team at Identifinders International. “The innovative techniques we used to separate the mixture and identify Barbara’s killer using genetic genealogy will go a long way to solving similar cases in the future, says Dr. Fitzpatrick.
The $6,000 raised by the Porchlight Project for this case came from donations from the public and through generous contributions by Blue Line Unlimited and True Crime Garage. Barbara’s sister, Donna Zanath, also raised funds. “This is wonderful day for the Blatnik family,” says James Renner, founder of The Porchlight Project. “We look forward to helping solve many more cases in Northeast Ohio. Please consider a donation, today. Every little bit helps.”