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New developments to be announced in 1978 cold-case murder of City of Tonawanda woman

Thirty-seven years ago Thursday, Lynn Morningstar was brutally murdered in her City of Tonawanda apartment in a case that remains unsolved.

But Tonawanda police officials are expected to announce new developments in the case Thursday as they continue to seek the killer in the cold case that has spanned generations of police officers in this small city.

Morningstar, 27, was repeatedly stabbed and beaten in her Delaware Street apartment. Her body was found by her 25-year-old boyfriend, Michael G. Czysz, on March 19, 1978. He had told police he had gone to visit her when he made the discovery. Over the years, police have described him as a suspect but have added that there may be others.

Czysz, now 62, was never charged and is represented by one of Buffalo’s top defense attorneys, Joel L. Daniels.

In 1998, on the 20th anniversary of the slaying, police announced that additional DNA testing was underway on dried fluids found at the crime scene. Investigators at the time explained that the testing was prompted by new DNA test instruments that were not available in 1978. They said they were hopeful that results would provide a break in the case, but over the last 17 years, there have been no arrests.

Czysz, according to Daniels, provided police with an explanation that he was elsewhere at the time of the slaying and that police checked and confirmed his whereabouts.

A retired factory worker, Czysz continues to reside in Western New York.

email: lmichel@buffnews.com