9-Year-Old Found Strangled In PA Church, Police Seek Tips 62 Years Later

Pennsylvania State Police investigators are seeking tips in a 9-year-old girl's cold case murder. 

Carol Ann Dougherty; St. Mark's Church, 1025 Radcliffe St, Bristol

Carol Ann Dougherty; St. Mark's Church, 1025 Radcliffe St, Bristol

Photo Credit: Facebook/PSP Tips //Google Maps (Street View)

Carol Ann Dougherty was found dead inside St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church in Bristol Borough on Oct. 22, 1962. She was strangled and had been sexually assaulted, according to troopers. 

Police said Dougherty had stopped at the church while riding her bike to the library. She had stopped there to say a prayer, according to a report in the Bristol Courier-Times the day after her murder. 

Then-Bristol Police Chief Vincent Faragalli called her killing "one of the most brutal I have ever experienced in 18 years in the police."

Dougherty's funeral was held in the church four days later. 

According to a column in the Burlington County Times of New Jersey, police questioned multiple suspects in the investigation. 

One, a handyman named Frank Zuchero, was reportedly seen drunk near the church on the day of the murder. He told police he killed Dougherty but the officer who interviewed him later admitted the confession was coerced, according to the column. 

Another, St. Mark's priest named Joseph Sabadish, gave investigators a phony alibi and was later taken for questioning. He was reportedly released after passing a polygraph test. 

A third suspect, an ex-convict named William Schrader, also lied to police about where he was at the time of the murder, according to the column. Schrader was extradited to Bucks County in 1994 and put before a grand jury but invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and was released. 

No one was ever charged. 

Anyone with information is asked to call PSP Troop M Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit at 610-861-2026 or submit a tip online.

Click here to read J.D. Mullane's column on the case for the Burlington County Times.  

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