January 5, 2017
BARSTOW - Prosecutors filed a murder charge against a 53-year-old man serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for a 2011 rape in Utah in connection with a 2011 cold case murder here.
Authorities said a warrant will be forwarded to the Utah Department of Corrections in order to initiate extradition proceedings for William Carl Schick, whom Barstow police say killed Lisa Marie Talarico in April 2011.
Talarico, who was 38 at the time of her death, was found dead in the desert next to the Days Inn in the Lenwood area in April 2011. Several leads previously took Detective Keith Libby and now retired Detective Andrew Espinoza Sr. to Missouri and Oklahoma to identify 25 persons of interest, including truck drivers.
"We found evidence near the body that may have been with a driver from a certain trucking company," Libby previously said. "We identified the company and any driver that may have been the area during the time frame. We served a search warrant on the trucking company and their trucks. We obtained records and evidence out of each truck that may have DNA of the persons of interest. Some of those items have been sent to the crime lab, but we have nothing yet."
Libby was notified on Dec. 2 that further analysis of the evidence revealed a DNA profile, which was submitted to the National DNA Index System and received a match to Schick, whose DNA was in the system due to a 1985 conviction for rape in Wood County, Ohio, police said. Schick had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the rape and was released in November 2010.
However, Libby said the DNA hit did not come from evidence inside a truck or any drivers that were persons of interest. Instead, the DNA match came from evidence located where Talarico's body was discovered.
Libby said he believes Schick was traveling through Barstow on his way back to the Chicago area at the time of the murder.
"He met a woman at a truck stop in the Los Angeles area and befriended her," Libby said. "She was arrested for some type of offense and asked (Schick) to take care of her van while in custody. He ended up stealing the van and was driving back to the Chicago area when he met Lisa."
Two days after Talarico's body was found, Shick was arrested in Nephi, Utah, for raping a motel clerk.
"During the Utah investigation a sample of Schick's DNA was collected and also submitted to the National DNA Index System," police said in a statement. "Schick was convicted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and is currently incarcerated at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah."
Libby and detective Andrew Reyes travelled to Utah on Dec. 19 to interview Schick.
"After conducting further investigation and interviewing Schick, the detectives discovered further evidence implicating Schick as the person responsible for Lisa Talarico's murder," police said.
Police originally deemed Talarico's death as suspicious because of the area she was found in and the fact that she was only partly clothed, but they would not rule her death as a homicide until the autopsy was done. The autopsy included a large number of toxicology tests.
Injuries on her body led authorities to believe she suffered puncture wounds and possible torture. But due to advanced decomposition of the body, that remains speculative. After performing the tests, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department did not find any drugs in Talarico's system.
Police said Talarico, who was from Columbia, Tennessee, was a transient who had lived in California, Arizona, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio. Talarico is believed to have come to the Barstow area about 30 days before her death and frequented truck stops, hotels and other businesses.
Libby said Talarico's mother lives in Tennessee and calls him often.
"She's elderly and sometimes she just calls to tell me about her day or what's going on with her family," Libby previously said. "But the underlying reason she is calling is to see if we have got any new leads. And I've never been able to give her any good news."
But that changed as Libby and Reyes drove back from Utah after interviewing Schick.
"She was ecstatic and crying over the phone when I called her to let her know I thought we identified the suspect," Libby said.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Libby at 760-255-5134 or Reyes at 760-255-5183. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at 800-782-7436 or visit www.wetip.com.
Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-955-5332 or . Follow him on Twitter at @DP_JoseQ.