The scene of the double homicide almost two years ago is in Cass County

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Person of interest in Tarwacki case

Published 9:02pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It’s been nearly two years since the double homicide of Niles couple John and Carolyn Tarwacki, but investigators now have a “person of interest” in the case.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, whose office has jurisdiction in the case, said he can’t identify the suspect since the case is still open.
“In any investigation, there are individuals who sometimes become at least a partial focus of the investigation. That’s where it is at. I have nothing more to release,” he said.
A week after the slayings, which took place Feb. 5, 2010, investigators released a composite drawing of a “person of interest,” but it didn’t lead to any arrests. The newest “person of interest” hasn’t yet led to any charges either.
The Michigan Attorney General’s office has also gotten involved in investigating the case, according to Fitz.
“It’s a collaborative effort,” Fitz said in an interview Wednesday. “The (Attorney General) investigator and my office went over the case several weeks ago. It will be good to have a fresh pair of eyes  on the investigation.”
Fitz said he will meet with investigators from the Attorney General’s office again this week.
Officers initially indicated they believed the killer had parked his car on Yankee Street, near the Tarwackis’ home on Carberry Road, in the early morning hours of the day of the murder.
Investigators told the Star in 2010 they believed the killer was walking on Yankee Street at least twice between 6 and 8:30 a.m.
There were no signs of forced entry at the house, and the killer is believed to have used two weapons. Detective Sgt. Fabian Suarez, of the Michigan State Police Post in Niles, told the Star last year  the crime scene was “pretty sterile.”
“The whole scene doesn’t make a lot of sense to you,” he said.
Suarez, who has been involved in the investigation since the start, declined to comment on the case Wednesday.
While investigators remain tight-lipped about details of the murder and the ongoing investigation, they say they are  confident it will ultimately be solved.
“I’ve said from day one, this ultimately will be solved,” Fitz said. “How close we are I can’t comment on. The case is still open and active.”
The Tarwackis worked at Quinlan & Fabish Music Co. in Stevensville and, according to family and friends, were respected in the community.
A Facebook page titled “Justice for John and Carolyn Tarwacki” has more than 900 followers.
Police have received hundreds of tips and leads since the murder.

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