Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Larissa Schuster

The body in the barrel


With Larissa Schuster now clearly in their sights for the murder of Tim Schuster, authorities obtained search warrants for Larissa's home, office, and the storage locker in Fresno they had learned Fichera had rented for Larissa.

Sgt. Jim Koch was among the investigators assigned to search the storage unit. Immediately upon opening the locker, he was hit by a foul stench. Investigators found the blue barrel tucked away amongst the sundry bric-a-brac amassed over the course of Larissa Schuster's life.

Donning protective jumpsuits and headgear, police pried open the top of the barrel and were repulsed by the smell of death, and by what they had found: the half-dissolved remains of a human being. Tim Schuster's arms, head and torso had been entirely dissolved in the acid only his trunk and legs remained.

And thus, less than a week after the murder occurred, arrest warrants were issued for Schuster and Fagone. Police found Fagone at home with his parents. They tracked Larissa Schuster's itinerary and had authorities arrest her at the St. Louis airport, where Fresno and Clovis investigators flew to retrieve her.

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