Man accused of murdering local teen back in 1987 makes first appearance before judge

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**Watch our previous report on the cold case in the video above.*

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WJW) — A cold case suspect accused of killing a teenager back in 1987 made his first appearance before a judge Thursday.

According to court records, James Zastawnik, 67, had his bond set at $1 million in Stow Municipal Court. He is charged with one count of murder.

Cuyahoga Falls police say they were able to link Zastawnik to the death of 17-year-old Barbara Blatnick with new evidence provided through DNA technology.

*Read more on the cold case of Barbara Blatnick, here.*

The victim was found dead by officers in a wooded area near Blossom Music Center on December 20, 1987. In that time, investigators followed countless leads and were thankful to finally get justice for her family.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that our Cuyahoga Falls Police Department has done to help ensure that Barbara Blatnik’s family can finally find the closure that they deserve,” stated Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters. “I want to express an immense amount of gratitude to everyone at The Porchlight Project for the funding that they provided to help get the needed DNA testing that was done to close this case. They have done an incredible service to the Blatnik family and our Police Department.”

Anyone with information relelated to this case is asked to contact the Cuyahoga Falls Police Detective Bureau at 330-971-8318.

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