John Bittrolff arrested, accused in murders of Rita Tangredi, Colleen McNamee

McNamee and Rita Tangredi both worked as prostitutes before they were murdered in Suffolk County.

John Bittrolff, 48, of Manorville, is led out

John Bittrolff, 48, of Manorville, is led out of the Fifth Precinct for arraignment on Tuesday morning, July 22, 2014. Bittrolff is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the killings of Rita Tangredi, 31, and Colleen McNamee, 20, more than 20 years ago, police said. (Credit: James Carbone)

MANORVILLE - Police have arrested a Manorville man in connection with two cold cases that date back to the 1990s.

Homicide detectives arrested and charged John Bittrolff, 48, of Manorville, with two counts of murder in the second degree.

Bittrolff was arraigned this afternoon and held without bail.

Officials say on Nov. 2, 1993, Rita Tangredi, 31, was found nude in a wooded area off of Esplanade Drive in East Patchogue. Tangredi was beaten and strangled to death.

Then on Jan. 30, 1994, the body of Colleen McNamee, 20, of Holbrook, was found dead in the woods near Express Drive South, near the William Floyd Parkway in Shirley. McNamee was also found nude, beaten and strangled to death.

McNamee and Tangredi both worked as prostitutes before they were murdered in Suffolk County.

Police say detectives at the original crime scenes, in 1993 and 1994, recovered DNA evidence which linked the two cases together.

Detectives say they caught John Bittrolff after his brother Timothy was arrested in an unrelated case.  Timothy's DNA was entered into a state database and it showed a family connection to DNA recovered at the scene of the murders back in the 90s.
 
Prosecutors said in court their evidence is extremely strong and they have DNA evidence from a single male source from both crime scenes. In addition, prosecutors say DNA has been confirmed to be Bittrolff.

A defense attorney described Bittrolff as a family man, married with a wife and two children.

Police tell News 12 Long Island say there is no evidence right now between the two murders and the bodies found at Gilgo Beach.

However, it remains unseen if six other bodies found in the Manorville area between 2000 and 2012 are connected.

As News 12 has reported, the bodies of three men and three women were found scattered throughout Manorville. Some were naked and partially dismembered.

Anyone with information about the murdered women or John Bittrolff, especially concerning their activities in the 90s, is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.              

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