Executive - Press Release

Posted on: November 10, 2015

Cold Case Homicide Squad Charges Woman with 30 Year-Old Homicide

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The New Castle County Police, Cold Case Homicide Squad has charged Sandra Hartzag with the murder of Joseph Braun who was 54-years of age at the time of his death which occurred 30 years ago.

On July 1, 1985, New Castle County Police were called to a home in the 2200 block of Hearn Road in Wilmington. Officers learned a neighbor called 9-1-1 after she had not seen her neighbor Joseph Braun for a few days. The responding officers entered the home and located the deceased victim on the second floor. During the course of the investigation, Detectives learned the victim’s 1981 Silver Honda Accord was missing from his home. The car was located a week later in the Kensington area of Philadelphia. Evidence was collected from both the victim’s home and his car which would help detectives in the future.

In 1999, new information was obtained from two men who provided Investigators with statements that they believed a relative had committed the crime. Detectives learned the suspect died in 1997, but the details provided by the witnesses were consistent with the original report taken in 1985. The two men also gave Detectives a new lead by stating that the suspect’s girlfriend Sandra Hartzag was present and involved in the murder.

Detectives made several attempts to locate Hartzag and were unable to link her to the crime in 1999. Cold Case Detective Sergeant Thomas Orzechowski and Civilian Cold Case Investigator, Ret. Sergeant Glenn Davis reopened the case in October. Investigators learned Hartzag was arrested in Philadelphia in 2001 which helped them to positively link her to the Joseph Braun’s home and his vehicle, but they were unable to locate her.

As the investigation continued, Detectives gathered information that led them to Dalton, Georgia. They then contacted detectives from Dalton Police Department who helped in the search for Hartzag, who was taken into custody on Wednesday (11/4). Detective Orzechowski and Civilian Investigator Davis were able to obtain detailed information to further connect Hartzag to the murder.

Sandra Hartzag has been charged with murder during the commission of a felony, robbery in the first degree, conspiracy in the second degree and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.

Dalton Police Department charged Hartzag as a fugitive from justice. She is currently being held in the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office awaiting extradition to Delaware.

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