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Cops: New DNA tests link man to '88 kindap, sex-assault case

Photo by Norwalk Police Department

Osvaldo Muniz, 66, has been charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree aggravated sexual assault in connection with an August 1988 attack on a 19-year-old woman on Wolfpit Avenue.

More than 25 years after a young woman was kidnapped in Norwalk and sexually assaulted, police said Saturday that new DNA tests helped them track down and arrest the woman's assailant.

Osvaldo Muniz, 66, was arrested Friday morning at his job in Bridgeport.

Muniz was charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree aggravated sexual assault, and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted for the violent attack that police said took place on the early morning of Aug. 4, 1988.

A 19-year-old woman was sleeping in the basement of a friend's home on Wolfpit Avenue when she was awakened by footsteps, police said. She went upstairs and was grabbed from behind and a knife was held to her neck, according to the report.

The assailant allegedly dragged her out of the house, across two lawns and into a wooded area, where she was sexually assaulted. Police investigated, but the case eventually went cold.

Police Lt. Art Weisgerber and Sgt. Alex Tolnay reviewed the case in 2011 and asked the state crime lab to test DNA from the case. They thought new DNA technology might help find a match. In October of this year, the crime lab reported the DNA matched Muniz's.

The two investigators got a warrant for Muniz's DNA in November and this week the crime lab again confirmed the match.

Bond for Muniz was set at $500,000 and he is scheduled to appear Dec. 16 in Norwalk Superior Court.