Still pressing to reopen a criminal investigation into the 2009 murder of Amanda Lynn Wienckowski and for State Legislature enactment of Amanda Lynn’s Law, family and friends of the Kenmore woman are staging an auction Sunday to raise funds for the ongoing legal efforts.
The auction will include Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres posters autographed by the players as well as 100 gift cards to local venues and a number of toys, barbecue grills, radios, stereos and other items, said Leslie Brill, the victim’s mother. A 40-inch television also will be awarded as a door prize, she said.
In January, the family filed a $100 million lawsuit against Erie County officials for allegedly mishandling the criminal investigation into Wienchow-ski’s death.
The 20-year-old Kenmore woman’s body was found frozen inside a trash tote the morning of Jan. 9, 2009, outside a church at Spring and Clinton streets.
Though Brill and her friends are convinced her daughter was strangled to death by Antoine J. Garner, who lived on Spring Street, her death was ruled an accidental drug overdose, and Garner was not charged.
Authorities previously have called Garner a “person of interest” in Wienckowski’s death.
They believe that she was headed for a paid sexual encounter with him and that he was the last person to have seen her alive before her body was found in the tote across from his home.
In May 2013, Garner began serving an 18-year prison term on his convictions for the rape of a 16-year-old Buffalo girl in both 2008 and 2009, a June 2011 choking and assault case and a July 2011 Buffalo home-invasion and armed robbery.
Efforts to get Wienckowski’s death reopened as a criminal investigation are linked to findings by a California pathologist hired by her family members and friends who were dissatisfied with the local investigation.
Friday, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, confirmed that the Assembly has passed the Amanda Lynn’s Law he co-sponsored making it a felony to conceal, alter or destroy a human corpse that could be used as physical evidence in a pending criminal case or other official proceeding.
The legislation, introduced in the Senate last year by Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, now goes for review by the Senate Codes Committee.
Brill said donations for the continuing legal efforts can be sent to Amanda’s Day Is Coming, P.O. Box 192, Tonawanda, NY 14151, or by calling 531-3413, 828-5133 or (678) 973-6770.