Crime Watch 8

Florida man arrested for 18-year-old Fulton Co. cold case

FULTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – DNA evidence has led to the arrest of a Florida man in connection to an 18-year-old cold case in Fulton County, Indiana.

According to 24-Hour News 8 sister station, WLFI, William Stinemetz, 52, of Palm City, Florida was arrested Thursday following an investigation by Indiana State Police Det. First Sgt. Bob Burgess and Det. Josh Maller. An arrest warrant was served to Stinemetz alleging felony charges for murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and theft. The warrant was served at the Martin County Jail in Florida where Stinemetz is currently serving criminal charges stemming from separate Florida cases.

Back in late September of 1997, at 11:55 a.m., the Indiana Lawrence Bank at 221 E. Main St., in Kewanna, Ind., was robbed at gunpoint by a man wearing a mask. He escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

About an hour and forty minutes after the bank robbery, investigators received information that Kewanna resident 69-year-old Lawrence Pfeifer was found shot to death in his home – which was one mile from the bank.

Investigators determined Pfeifer’s red 1988 Chevrolet Corsica was used during the bank robbery. They determined the robber used that car during the incident, then returned to Pfeifer’s home and escaped in a different vehicle.

Findings in the autopsy results ruled Pfeifer’s death a homicide. Despite efforts by Indiana State Police and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the case went cold.

Evidence which had been collected during the initial phase of the investigations was submitted to an Indiana State Police Laboratory for DNA analysis. The results were entered into the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.

On Nov. 9, 2015, a DNA profile was matched to Stinemetz.

Upon further investigation, it was revealed Stinemetz has family ties to northern Indiana. Combined with the new DNA evidence and previous evidence gathered during the investigation, detectives developed enough probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant for Stinemetz.