Police use DNA testing to identify suspect in 1980 homicide of Willoughby, Ohio woman

Investigators say Stephen Joseph Simcak brutally murdered Nadine Madger
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 8:53 AM EDT
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LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Willoughby police held a news conference Wednesday morning to give an update on a murder that happened more than 40 years ago.

With assistance from state and local investigators, as well as help from genealogy experts, police were able to identify the suspect as Stephen Joseph Simcak.

According to Willoughby police, Madger was found dead by her husband in the dining room of her apartment in January 1980.

Nadine Madger
Nadine Madger((Source: Ohio Attorney General))

The 25-year-old mother of an infant son at the time of her death was found with over 40 stab wounds, police said, but there was no sign of robbery or sexual assault.

Through extensive testing and genealogical research, police were able to link blood found on clothing worn by Madger to Simcak’s DNA.

Simcak died in 2018.

During Wednesday’s press conference, police said Simcak was an employee of Lincoln Electric at the time of Madger’s homicide. Timecards show that he called in sick only one time during his tenure, and that was on the day of the murder.

Madger’s then-husband and son, who was 8 months old and in the crib when his mother was killed, both spoke during the press conference.

“If there’s a place in Hell, I hope he’s there and he rots in it,” Mark Madger, Nadine’s husband, said.

Simcak worked at several other local businesses and had no criminal record, according to Willoughby police.

“How could he get up every day, look at himself in the mirror knowing what he did?,” Mark added.

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