Police: DNA links parolee to murder of Warren senior
Posted October 13, 2010
Investigators say suspect did not know victim
WARREN — Police investigating the murder of 84-year-old Charles Taylor said they finally got the break in the case they were looking for on June 7.
They said that break came in the form of a phone call from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, informing Warren detectives of a DNA match allegedly linking 52-year-old Paul John Pozniak of Pontiac to the crime scene inside Taylor’s home.
Taylor was found unresponsive by police who, acting on a call from a concerned member of his family, forced their way into the home on Blackmar, near 10 Mile and Mound, on Feb. 23 and found him lying facedown on the floor.
On June 9, Warren detectives found Pozniak as he arrived for a scheduled visit with his parole officer in Oakland County. He was taken into custody without incident and driven back to Warren, where he was expected to be formally arraigned on murder and larceny charges in the 37th District Court on June 10.
Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said Pozniak has an “extensive criminal record” that goes back to the 1970s in communities across metro Detroit. He was reportedly on parole for a drug charge in Ferndale when he was arrested.
Investigators said Pozniak did not know Taylor, who lived alone in retirement, kept a tidy home and was well-liked by those who knew him.
“If we look at his criminal history, it’s not uncommon for him (Pozniak) to go in different areas to commit home invasions,” Dwyer said. “That’s kind of been his M.O.”
The initial investigation into Taylor’s murder appeared to reveal evidence indicating that robbery was the motive.
Warren Police Detective Rob Eidt said Taylor’s wallet was missing from the home, and that possibly an unknown amount of money taken.
Investigators initially thought Taylor might have known his killer. A witness later reportedly told police they saw a man enter the home through the front door during the afternoon on the day Taylor was found.
Dwyer said the Macomb County Medical Examiner determined that Taylor was strangled.
Police would not immediately elaborate on the DNA evidence allegedly linking Pozniak to the crime scene. They indicated that there did not appear to be signs of a struggle inside of the home.
Taylor’s daughter, Cassie Skladzien, and his granddaughter, Shelley Skladzien, both of Shelby Township, praised police for their moral support, and for their work in solving the case.
“I never thought they would catch this man, or whoever was involved in the murder,” Cassie Skladzien said. “I just want to thank him (Eidt) and thank God to get some closure. I’ll get closure when the man’s convicted and goes to jail for the rest of his life, and he won’t be able to hurt anyone else.”
About the author
Staff Writer Brian Louwers covers the cities of Warren and Center Line. He has worked for C & G Newspapers since 1998 and is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In his free time, he participates in the Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program and conducts interviews with military veterans for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.
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