Dateline: Agawam murder, decades-long manhunt

Hampden County

(WWLP) – The episode of Dateline NBC featuring the homicide investigation of Lisa Ziegert premiered on 22News at 9:00 p.m. on Friday.

DATELINE: Justice for Lisa

9:00 PM -11:00 PM
The Music Box
Investigative reports, breaking news stories, profiles of leading newsmakers and other features explore current events and topics of special interest.

The show will feature members of the Ziegert family, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, and investigators who worked on the case.

Its been more than 27 years since Dee’s daughter Lisa was murdered by Gary Schara. She’s grateful that justice has been served after all these years.

It remains tragically true that Lisa will never return to her loving family, but the search for criminal justice ended today with the beginning of Gary E. Schara’s life sentence in prison. The Ziegert family’s unbroken faith, strength, and grace over these many years encouraged and inspired me, the many investigators who worked this case, and the public to relentlessly search for the truth. To those many investigators from the Massachusetts State Police, Agawam Police Department, prosecutors from the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, and those in the public who never forgot Lisa and believed that justice would someday result, thank you.


On the evening of April 15, 1992, Ziegert, a teacher at the Agawam Middle School, was kidnapped while at her night job at Brittany’s Card & Gift Shoppe on Walnut Street. The store’s day clerk reported her missing after arriving in the morning and realizing the store was open, lights were on and Ziegert’s car was still parked in the same spot as the night before. The money in the cash register and Ziegert’s purse and other belongings were also untouched. 

PHOTOS: Lisa Ziegert Murder Case

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Ziegert’s body was found in a wooded area on April 19, 1992, four days after she disappeared and four miles away from where she was kidnapped. Investigators ruled her death a homicide and for over 20-years, the Hampden County DA’s office along with the Massachusetts State Police and Agawam Police Department worked on what was then a case.

The DA said throughout their investigation, Schara’s name came up several times. 

In September 2016, DNA technology provided investigators with names of persons of interest who they didn’t have DNA samples of in connection with the investigation. Schara was one of those persons of interest.

See the full investigation including interviews with the Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and family members of Gary Schara.

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