Two months later, Marriott’s body still missing
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
New Hampshire officials, including Marine Patrols, are still searching for the body of UNH student Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott two months after her disappearance in October, according to New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley.
“[The marine patrol’s] primary function is visual surveillance for Ms. Marriott,” Hinckley said.
Initially, officials – including UNH Police — announced that Marriott went missing on Oct. 9 after texting a friend that she was going to visit friends in Dover. Authorities soon began to search for her and her car, which was later found in a UNH campus parking lot.
Police arrested 29-year-old Seth Mazzaglia of Dover on Saturday, Oct. 13, in connection with Marriott’s murder. Officials focused their search for Marriott’s body in the area around Peirce Island in Portsmouth.
Mazzaglia’s second-degree murder charge alleges that he “recklessly caused the death of Elizabeth Marriott … under circumstances manifested in extreme indifference to the value of human life by strangling her and or suffocating her.”
The charge also alleged that Marriott was murdered in Mazzaglia’s Dover apartment at 1 Mill St. on the same day she went missing.
On Monday, Oct. 15, Mazzaglia offered no plea via video feed from the Strafford Country House of Corrections during his arraignment in the Dover Circuit Court.
Mazzaglia also waived his right to a probable cause hearing, which would have been held Oct. 29. The court would have had to decide if there was enough evidence for a trial, but the decision is no longer required.
On Nov. 1, Dover Circuit Court Judge Stephen Morrison denied requests by Foster’s Daily Democrat, The Union Leader and the Portsmouth Herald to unseal documents in the investigation into Marriott’s death. According to Morrison, the documents will remain sealed in order to preserve the need for a fair trial for Mazzaglia, as well as to protect the integrity of possible witnesses’ statements.
“[A] great concern is that if these affidavits are released, witnesses would tailor their statements to fit what they believe to be the facts of the case,” Morrison wrote in his order.
Mazzaglia is currently awaiting trial at the Strafford County House of Corrections in Dover for second-degree murder. A second-degree murder charge requires the suspect to have knowingly caused a death and showed an extreme indifference to the value of life. This charge holds a possible life sentence in prison.
Neither the Dover Police Department – which is handling the case – nor Hinckley and the attorney general’s office could comment on the progress of the case against Mazzaglia, as the investigation is still “pending,” according to Hinckley.
Mazzaglia graduated from UNH in 2006 with a degree in theater. Authorities have not released how Marriott and Mazzaglia knew each other, but told the public that they were familiar and it was not a random incident.
Marriott was a sophomore marine biology major from Westborough, Mass., in her first semester at UNH after transferring from Manchester Community College. She commuted to campus from her aunt’s house in Chester.
Anyone with information relating to the case or the search is encouraged to contact the Dover Police Department at 603-742-4646. Anonymous tips may be made to their crime line at 603-749-6000.