Detectives arrest John Mellquist for 2003 murder of missing Sarasota woman Anneliese Schweickardt

1:30 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
  • Anneliese Schweickardt had been living in the U.S. on a Tourist Visa from Germany when she was reported missing in October 2003 by a childhood friend she kept in regular contact with back home.
    
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Sarasota, Florida -- Advancements in DNA profiling over the last nine years gave Sarasota County detectives enough evidence to finally arrest and charge a man suspected of killing a woman in 2003 whose body has never been recovered.

Anneliese Schweickardt had been living in the U.S. on a Tourist Visa from Germany when she was reported missing in October 2003 by a childhood friend she kept in regular contact with back home.

When deputies arrived at the home, they interviewed John Mellquist, who had been renting a room in her home. He reportedly gave them different accounts of her possible whereabouts. 

During their investigation, detectives learned Schweickardt was in the process of evicting Mellquist around the time contact stopped with her friends. They also found out Mellquist had been forging and cashing checks from her bank account and used her vehicle after her disappearance.

When detectives and forensic technicians searched her home, they reported finding sign of a violent encounter and a significant blood stain that they say indicated she was likely murdered.

The sheriff's office says detectives long suspected Mellquist was responsible for her death, but without a body and no immediate family, they had a hard time linking her DNA to the stain.

Over the years, a DNA profile was conducted from personal items left in her home and a case was built. Despite the fact that DNA testing is still going on, detectives worked with the State Attorney's Office to issue an arrest warrant for Mellquist for Schweickardt's murder.

Detectives kept track of Mellquist over the years and arrested him Friday in his tent in a wooded area near Ortiz Boulevard and U.S. 41 in Warm Mineral Springs. He is currently being held without bond.

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