80-year-old Queens man charged in 1973 killings of women in Virginia Beach

NORFOLK, Virginia -- Police in Virginia say an 80-year-old New York City man has been arrested for the slaying of two young women more than 45 years ago.

The Virginia Beach Police Department announced the arrest Tuesday of Ernest Broadnax of St. Albans, Queens on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of rape. He's awaiting extradition to Virginia.

Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler were both 19 and on vacation from the Pittsburgh area when they were found dead June 30, 1973, in a cottage near the Atlantic Ocean.

Police found Seethaler shot twice and her throat slashed with a broken wine bottle, while Pietropola was raped, strangled and shot three times.

In Queens, neighbors in St. Albans knew Broadnax as a loner and even knew of his brushes with the law in the past.

Police say he had been arrested at least 10 times in New York City dating back to 1990, with charges including burglary, assault and weapons possession.

Broadnax also served at least 10 years in state prison for some of those crimes, police say.

Police did not say how they linked Broadnax to the slayings. The department statement said its cold case unit followed up on leads and sought out "advanced forensic technology."

They thanked the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and New York law enforcement officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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