Diane Zaleski, 54
UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Authorities are appealing for help in solving the stabbing death of a New Jersey woman nearly a year ago.
Diane Zaleski, 54, was found dead inside her Laurana Road home on Nov. 18, 2010. Her parents discovered the body.
Investigators with the help of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit determined that they are looking for a male suspect.
Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said nearly 100 people have been interviewed and more than 80 men — even men Zaleski danced with at salsa clubs — have been cleared as potential suspects.
“She evidently fought. We know that with his blood being at the scene, we believe that there were defensive wounds on his arm or his hands,” Union County Prosecutor Ted Romankow told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.
Authorities believe Zaleski may have known her killer since there were no signs of forced entry.
“Zaleski was a very cautious person and was not in the habit of opening her door to strangers. Through interviews we have learned that she was even hesitant to open her door after dark to people she did know,” said Romankow.
Authorities are asking the public for any information they have in regards to the case.
After the homicide, the FBI said there may have been noticeable changes to the suspect’s personality — including increased alcohol or drug use, or mood swings.
Romankow said forensic evidence was recovered at the scene indicating the suspect may have suffered a cut on the hand or arm during the attack. The suspect may have also had defensive wounds — such as scratches.
“No matter how small an inkling, if there is someone who feels like they have information that can solve this case and give the family peace of mind, we urge them to come forward,” said Romankow.
Authorities said the suspect stayed at Zaleski’s house for severals hours after the murder and tried unsuccessfully to use her credit card to buy a MacBook and an iPad.
The Zaleski family released a statement earlier this week saying, “Diane was a loving and caring, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend to many. She had recently moved to the area to be closer to her elderly parents whom she helped care for.
Her loss is felt every day by her family who is devastated and is seeking justice for Diane.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Union County Crime Stoppers at (908) 654-TIPS.