Cindy Zarzycki Murder: How Did He Die? Who Killed Her?

Cindy Zarzycki, 13, vanished in late April 1986 while smuggling out of her East Detroit, Michigan, house behind her father’s back, according to NBC’s ‘Dateline: The Case of the Girl Who Never Came house’. Before her bones were found buried in a Macomb Township property, she had been missing for more than 20 years. We have all the information you need if you’re interested in knowing more about the incident, including who committed the crime. So let’s get started, shall we?

How Did Cindy Zarzycki Die?

Ed and Alice Zarzycki welcomed Cynthia Jocelyn “Cindy” into the world on June 8, 1972 in Michigan. Connie Johnson, her older sister, remembers how much Cindy adored the music of Madonna, Motley Crue, and especially Cyndi Lauper. We had a song, she recalled. I can still clearly recall every action. Cindy and I would repeatedly dance to Madonna’s “Borderline.” Cindy did not inhabit a vast universe, like the majority of children growing up in the East Detroit, a working-class Detroit suburb, in the middle of the 1980s.

The teen girl’s boundaries were indicated in the episode to be her house, school, church and the mall for movies, meeting boys and having fun. Eddie Jr., Cindy’s younger brother, recalled the worn-out softball grounds where the Zarzycki family played, as well as the welcoming Dairy Queen down the street where fans could unwind after the sweltering games. The siblings remembered their sister’s love of vanilla ice cream cones with sprinkles with fondness. Cindy, who was 13 at the time, played first base and batted cleanup for her church’s softball team in the early spring of 1986.

Ed, her father, fondly recalled how his adolescent daughter had asked him to assist the team’s coach during the following season. Ed, a school custodian, struggled to raise his son and two daughters after divorcing their biological mother. He embraced the new softball connection between him and Cindy. It was interesting because I could identify with her about it as a father, he added. He recalled Cindy’s contagious passion, the glow she had after each game, and her singing while the family was camping.

Eddie Jr. chuckled as he recalled how his sister had recently “discovered boys” and had been bringing home diaries full of boy names from school. The most common name was Scott, whom she had met in the mall when shopping with her best friend Theresa Olechowski for a pair of matching white boots. She remembered how they struck up a conversation with Scott and his pals and found they had a lot in common. Cindy’s friend, Cathy Bouford, described how Cindy had a “puppy love”—a kind of infatuation—for the teenager.

Cindy, however, got into conflict with her father in the first few days of April 1986 after defying him and making the 7-mile trek home from the Macomb Mall. She started wailing about how he would meet Scott while he grounded her and made her return home right away from school. On April 19, 1986, she escaped to Cathy’s house and made plans to meet Scott’s father the following day and travel with him to a surprise birthday celebration he had arranged for his son. On April 20, the enamoured 13-year-old strolled into the Dairy Queen and disappeared.

Who Killed Cindy Zarzycki?

Since Cindy’s remains were never found, the authorities initially classified her as a runaway when she disappeared. After learning that Scott’s father, Arthur Nelson Ream, was a convicted paedophile and sex offender, they focused on him as a person of interest. Since Scott’s birthday was in April and the teen was in Texas at the time, the police also learned Arthur had made up the birthday celebration. By the end of 2007, the investigators were aware of Cindy’s companions’ accounts of how the adolescent had intended to meet Arthur the Sunday before she vanished.

As the girl’s legal guardian, Arthur was serving a 15-year term for raping her when she was 15 years old. The cops were also made aware of his past of raping young girls and abusing four ex-wives. When they carried out the search warrant, they found Cindy’s old “Have-You-Seen-Me” photograph in a memento box at his carpet warehouse. The criminal was set to be released on parole after Christmas 2007 after serving nearly all of his sentence. On January 8, 2008, the investigators executed an urgent arrest warrant, and they detained him.

Arthur was charged with first- and second-degree murder of a 13-year-old girl, and the detectives remembered his “eerie lack of reaction” to the accusations. They interrogated him for hours using different techniques, but they were unable to get any information out of him. The programme made note of how much he delighted in playing mind tricks with the detectives and how he “controlled the situation,” teasing them with hints but never revealing all the details. Arthur defended his innocence but made up a possible cause of Cindy’s demise during his 2008 trial.

The defendant claimed in court testimony that he met Cindy at the Dairy Queen on 9 Mile Road and drove her to his workplace. She apparently stumbled on some carpet when Cindy and Scott were hanging out and plunged to her death down an open lift shaft. He said that by wiring the goods lift shaft to prevent it from being repeatedly lifted and lowered, he was to blame for her passing. “She would have never fallen,” he added, “if the gate had been down where it was supposed to be.” According to Arthur, his son called him in a panic, and he buried the body in Macomb Township.

But the jury didn’t buy it; they found him guilty of first-degree murder and gave him a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Arthur had a change of heart right before the sentence was handed down and revealed to the authorities where he had buried Cindy’s bones. The 13-year-old’s skeletal remains were discovered after the detectives dug up Arthur’s land near the intersection of 23 Mile and North Avenue in Macomb Township 22 years after she had vanished. Her specific cause of death is still unknown.

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