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Murder charge filed in '01 cold case death

Suspect held, allegedly admits Metz slaying

A nearly 13-year-old cold case that began with a killing in a rural Steuben County home may soon be coming to a close.

Mark Matthew Fritz, 49, has been formally charged in the killing of 70-year-old Samuel Hunter back in 2001.

Steuben County prosecutors formally charged Fritz with a felony count of murder last week.

He's being held in Steuben County Jail without bond.

Hunter, who lived in Metz, was found by his daughter with his throat slit and head bludgeoned one summer day in his home.

According to Steuben County Superior Court documents, the weapon used to kill him was a knife he had made himself using a file.

Taken from his home were a set of guns, a safe and likely some coins, according to court documents.

While police suspected for years that the killer came from a home next door to Hunter's, they could never definitively link anyone to the killing.

But the ex-wife of Fritz's brother late last year told Indiana detectives that she might have information on the killing, according to court documents.

Fritz eventually admitted the killing through a series of conversations with that woman and her daughter, according to court documents.

He gave various reasons for the killing, according to the documents.

Among them were that “he was in a pissed-off mood” and that “the old man” had “guns and coins,” the court documents said.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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