Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityPolice file charges for 1977 murder, rape of 16-year-old Salt Lake City girl | KUTV
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Police believe 1977 murder, rape of 16-year-old Salt Lake City girl is finally solved

Patrick McCabe (Photo: Gilchrist County Florida)
Patrick McCabe (Photo: Gilchrist County Florida)
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Chris Jones will have even more about this story on 2News at 10 p.m.

(KUTV) A cold case, unsolved since 1977 when a 16-year-old's body was discovered in her Salt Lake City bathtub, has a suspect and police believe they have solved her rape and murder.

Sharon Schollmeyer, an emancipated teen, was discovered dead in her apartment by her mother and building manager Patrick McCabe, who now faces charges for first degree murder, aggravated burglary and rape.

In the arrest warrant, police said it was McCabe who opened the residence belonging to Schollmeyer, for her mother, Sally Schollmeyer, who was alarmed that the girl didn't show up to work for her waitress job. She was considered reliable and her mother was alarmed when her work place called to report that she had not shown up. The teen lived on her own in apartment 20 on 125 East, 1st Avenue where she was killed.

Officers who responded to the call reported finding Sharon Schollmeyer nude in her bathtub in six inches of water with a gag in her mouth and blindfolded, according to the warrant. The discovery was made on Dec. 5, 1977. An autoposy was performed the following day and it was determined she was strangled, suffocated and her death was ruled a homicide.

Detectives interviewed Sally Schollmeyer who told them Sharon Schollmeyer spent the day before the killing shopping together. The mother reportedly told police her daughter didn't express any fears for her safety but did want to move from her apartment building because it had been burglarized a few weeks before.

She reported to police that MCabe, when requested, unlocked the dead bolt lock on the girl's apartment and they both entered. McCabe stayed in the living room as the mother found the girl dead in the bathtub. McCabe called police.

Investigators found the windows to the apartment were open in the bedroom and living room and said there was a fire escape below the bedroom window, but there was no forced sign of entry. The ladder to the fire escape was between "10 to 12 feet above ground level."

No other details about the investigation were in the warrant until 2013 when Detective Michael Hardin submitted the halter top that was used as a gag in Sharron Schollmeyer's mouth for DNA testing, yielding a profile of one male. Detective Hilary Gordon submitted the profile to the the FBI databases on forensic profiles in 2016. On Dec. 6, 2016 a DNA match was reported with McCabe, 39 years and one day after her death.

He was convicted of a sexual offense of a minor in September, 1999.

The report said after he was given his Miranda rights, McCabe admitted on March 1, in Florida, to entering Sharon Schollmeyer's apartment where he raped and strangled her. He reportedly told Florida police he left Utah in 1978 and has not returned since.

It is not clear if McCabe is in police custody in Florida.

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