Authorities say they have a suspect in custody in the death of a woman who was attacked in front of a 10-year-old girl who was with her during a carjacking and kidnapping Thursday night at Great Northern Mall in Clay.
Police say the suspect kidnapped the victims, raped the girl, and stabbed the woman. Police say there is no indication he knew the victims.
New York State Police Captain Mark Lincoln spoke to reporters at a news conference Friday morning at State Police barracks in North Syracuse.
Lincoln identified the woman as 47-year-old Lori Bresnahan, of Liverpool. Bresnahan was a Library Media Specialist with the Liverpool School District.
Lincoln says the suspect, 29-year-old David J. Renz, of Cicero, is accused of rape, kidnapping and murder.
A spokesperson at Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncanâ??s office tells CNY Central that Renz removed a monitoring bracelet that he was required to wear prior to the attack. Renz was previously charged possessing child porn and was released from custody in January.
Lincoln says Renz approached Bresnahan and the child in the parking lot at Great Northern Mall as they were leaving a gymnastics class shortly before 9:00 p.m.
Renz tied up Bresnahan and the child in Bresnahan's car.
Lincoln says Renz raped the girl in a deserted area near the mall, most likely in the parking lot. Police are working to confirm details of the attack.
Lincoln says Renz then kidnapped Bresnahan and the girl and drove to Verplank Road where he attacked Bresnahan. Lincoln says it was a brutal attack and she was stabbed multiple times. He says police are waiting for an autopsy report.
The girl was able to flee the attack on Verplank Road. A passerby saw the girl running down the road and was able to help her.
Lincoln says Renz fled into nearby woods. Police located him a short distance from the scene.
Police say the child is being treated at a hospital for injuries related to the attack.
Renz is charged with first degree rape, first degree kidnapping, first and second degree murder, all felonies.
According to court papers, Renz was previously charged for possessing more than 100 gigabytes worth of child porn on an encrypted hard drive that contained more than 500 videos and more than 3,000 images.A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told CNY Centralâ??s Alex Dunbar that the Renz family is quiet and keeps to themselves. The neighbor said there was often periods of months where Renz was not seen at the familyâ??s home in Cicero.The neighbors said they were unaware of the federal charges and were very concerned. They say there are several families with young children in the community.Renz was an employee at Wegmans on James Street, in East Syracuse. He is a graduate of the East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District.
Liverpool School District says they are taking steps internally to support their students and staff at this time.
Bresnahan worked at Chestnut Hill Elementary School for a number of years and most recently worked at Willow Field Elementary.
Bresnahan was a Syracuse University masters alum. She graduated from the School Media program at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) in 1992 with a degree in Library and Information Science.The iSchool says it is working with the Liverpool School District to organize a children's book drive in honor of Bresnahan. The iSchool says it is in the process of establishing a scholarship in her name.Bresnahan earned an undergraduate degree in Childhood Education at the State University of New York at Oswego.A Facebook page in memory of Bresnahan was created late Friday morning.