MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio — Samuel Legg III was arraigned Thursday for the 1997 rape of a 17-year-old hitchhicker in Medina County. Hours later he was charged with murdering Sharon Kedzierski in 1992 in Austintown, just east of Youngstown. Legg's DNA implicates him in both cases, according to the state attorney general's office, which says he's linked to three more murder victims who have yet to be named.
Retired Austintown detective Don Corbett worked on Kedzierski's case after she was found beaten to death at a truck stop. He's now praising advances in technology for Legg's arrest in her murder.
"In this particular case, all of that DNA data, the semen, the blood, the hair, everything was maintained in such a way that 20 years, 30 years later it's still good and it's still capable of convicting somebody who you matched this with through DNA," Corbett told News 5 over the phone.
Corbett says between 1984 and 1994 there were more than 10 murders of sex workers near truck stops in Austintown. Kedzierski was not a prostitute, but he wonders if those other murders now need another look.
"More DNA is put into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), and the attorney general's office is going to get matches, and these could all be solved," said Corbett. "Quite frankly, with the M.O. of of these other cases where these prostitutes were killed, they were all the same or very close to being the same."
On Thursday, prosecutors alluded to the possibility that Legg's alleged crimes are far greater than we know right now.
"I'm assuming that there are other jurisdictions now actually looking to determine if he may be a suspect in any of their cases because of the fact that he was a truck driver and he was mobile," Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains said.