In the 28 years since Kristin O'Connell was murdered while visiting the small Finger Lakes town of Ovid from her native Minnesota, state police have never publically identified any suspects. Now, two suspects are identifying themselves - Doug Zammett and Mike Swank from Ovid believe they are the focus of the current investigation.
Zammett says his step-sister told investigators the two men were covered with blood the day O'Connell was brutally murdered in 1985. Zammett and Swank say they agreed to talk to police investigators earlier this year and told them they had had a pig roast days after the murder. Both Swank and Zammett say they had blood on them two days after Kristin's body was found but the blood was from killing a live pig they bought at a local farm.
"We tried being nice, tried cooperating. We were told, if you don't cooperate with us, you're hiding something, if you do talk to us, you're lying. how do you win?" asked Swank in an interview with CNYCentral.
In 1985, O'Connell came to Ovid to visit a friend. She left a party one night to go for a walk but was never seen again. Her body was found days later in a nearby field.
Instead of staying quiet about the accusations made by investigators, Zammett and Swank painted a message to police on the fence outside Zammett's house asking them to believe their alibi.
It is addressed to the investigator heading up a state police task force on the Kristin O'Connell murder and asks them not to play "cop games." It also says "we had a pig roast - should have had chicken."
Both said they were angry that investigators accused them of the murder. Both also say they believe police are still following them. Zammett and Swank say they talked with their children first, letting them know that they were being investigated for a murder. Zammett says police have travelled to Virginia to interview his family members living there.
"Everybody asked, how do you remember a pig roast? I say, well we killed a pig in the back of an El Camino, my brother came up from Virginia, I remember that day," said Zammett.
Zammett says he regularly roasted pigs over the years and now owns his own pig spit. Both he and Mike Swank acknowledge that their memories of specific details from 28 years ago are not perfect but they wanted to let people know they are innocent. Zammett says he willingly gave investigators a DNA sample and Swank says he offered to provide one but investigators have not talked to him in several weeks.
Both said they are worried they could be arrested at any time but hope investigators will look at other suspects.
"It seems like they're lost in this case. Because I feel like if you are investigating me, all over me, then you really don't know where to go," said Zammett.
Neither Zammett or Swank have been arrested or charged with anything in connection with Kristin O'Connell's murder.
Kristin O'Connell's mother lives in Minnesota. She has been a tireless advocate for her daughter's case and is optimistic this is the year that investigators will get the break they need. World renowned DNA experts Richard and Selma Eikelenboom have agreed to use cutting edge "Touch DNA" technology to see if there is any usable DNA on the original 1985 evidence.
A State Police investigator said he could not comment on the message because the Kristin O'Connell murder case is an ongoing investigation.