Springfield Township, Erie County (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — After years of new technology improvements and additional help, a suspect is in custody for a Pennsylvania sexual assault case from 20 years ago.
Daniel Danzinger, 61, of Fort Myers, Florida, was taken into custody in Florida on Oct. 2, 2023, for charges of burglary, indecent assault, unlawful restraint and simple assault from an incident that occurred in 2003 in Erie County.
According to a Pennsylvania State Police report, a 13-year-old girl arrived home from school on West Lake Road, Springfield Township, around 3:10 p.m. on May 6, 2003. Shortly after, an unknown suspect knocked on the front door to ask for directions. The suspect allegedly verified no one else was at the residence, entered without permission, tackled the victim and sexually assaulted her.
Evidence gathered from the scene was analyzed at the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) DNA Laboratory where they created a DNA profile of the suspect.
With recent technological and investigative developments, Danzinger was noted as a suspect. The report also states Danzinger previously lived in Lake and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Fort Myers Regional Operations Center, was asked to assist in the investigation, and a search warrant for Danzinger was authorized and executed. Danzinger’s DNA sample was sent to the PSP DNA Lab where Danzinger’s sample allegedly matched the DNA obtained from the crime scene.
Over the years, additional efforts were made by PSP, the Troop E Criminal Investigation Unit, the Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit, the Forensic Services Unit, members from the PSP-Erie Crime Lab, PSP-Greensburg DNA Lab, Troop K Criminal Investigation Unit and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in this investigation.
Outside agencies who also contributed include the Ohio Attorney General’s Office – Cold Case Unit, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Ontario Provincial Police.