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14-Year-Old Murder Case Hinges On A Hair

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

FREELAND-WEB-HEADSHOT-2013 Lynne Hayes-Freeland
Lynne Hayes-Freeland is a general assignment reporter known for live,...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jury selection began today in a murder case in Bethel Park that’s more than a decade old.

And the case hinges on a hair, literally.

Fourteen years after Melissa Groot was stabbed to death in a bathtub inside her Bethel Park home, her ex-husband, John Minch, goes on trial for her murder.

Minch was an early suspect in the case when Groot was killed back in 1999. At the time, Minch told investigators he didn’t even know where his ex-wife was living.

But while investigating her death, police found 10 hairs at the crime scene. Hairs that were stored for years, then in 2008, investigators found a DNA match from one of those hairs that indicated it was a possible match to Minch – her estranged husband.

“I can’t tell you how relieved we are, and now Missy’s finally going to get some justice,” said Groot’s mother Mary Michael.

That’s how her mother felt back in 2009 when Minch was finally arrested for Groot’s murder, but it would still take several times for the case to actually come before a jury.

Today, that process began for a family that has been waiting a long time to learn not so much how, but why a young mother was brutally stabbed inside her own home.

“I’m so happy this day has finally come,” Michael said.

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