An arrest has been made in connection , Clearwater Police announced at a news conference Thursday.
Dominic Panzino, Schroepfer's next-door neighbor, was apprehended in Massachusetts on Wednesday night after police found him next to a disabled vehicle in Revere, a suburb north of Boston.
Upon discovering there was an alert out for the van, which had been stolen from Panzino's employer, Midwestern Meats, Revere police arrested Panzino. He later confessed to killing Schroepfer, according to Clearwater Police.
"Late last night, Mr. Panzino was arrested in Revere, Massachusetts. At that time, he was arrested on possession of a stolen vehicle," Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway said. "As of an hour ago, Mr. Panzino confessed to the homicide of the victim."
Woman Was Killed in Her Home Last Week
Schroepfor was at 110 Orangeview Ave. by a caretaker at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 26. An autopsy determined she died from blunt force trauma.
According to Holloway, responding officers were immediately suspicious because of the position of the body and accounts provided by neighbors, who told police that Schroepfor's wallet and a purse were missing.
Further investigation showed Panzino, 36, attempted to cash a check in Schroepfor's name and also tried to use the victim's credit card.
After learning the van had been stolen from Panzino's employer, Clearwater Police were able to follow a trail of transactions and surmised that the Massachusetts native would attempt to flee to his home state.
"I want to thank all the departments involved, including the state attorney's office ... and also thanks to the Massachusetts police departments, the state troopers who got the information out there so we were able to track Mr. Panzino to the Massachusetts area," Holloway said.
Charges Are Expected in Woman's Death
Although it is not known how long Mr. Panzino has been living at 113 Orangeview Ave. in Clearwater, he has an extensive criminal history in Massachusetts.
Since 1992, Panzino has been arrested for shoplifting, dealing in stolen property, assault on a law enforcement officer, robbery, drug possession, burglary, larceny, grand theft, carrying a concealed weapon and violating probation.
Despite the confession, Holloway said that Panzino has not yet been charged with the crime. Clearwater Police detectives traveled to Massachusetts this morning to interview Panzino in connection with the case. Further charges are expected.