State prosecutors say they are prepared to move forward with their second-degree murder case against Seth Mazzaglia regardless if the body of his alleged murder victim, Lizzi Marriott, is ever found.
Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley, one of the prosecutors assigned to the case, said New Hampshire Marine Patrol boats continue to comb the waters of the Piscataqua River for any trace of Marriott's body in the Portsmouth area more than two months after Mazzaglia, 30, of Dover was charged with strangling the University of New Hampshire student.
But regardless if authorities ever recover Marriott's body, Hinckley said state prosecutors already have enough evidence to proceed with their case against Mazzaglia. "We took that into the equation at the time we made an arrest," he said late Wednesday afternoon.
The New Hampshire Attorney General's office alleges that Mazzaglia strangled or suffocated Marriott on Oct 9. in his Dover apartment. Marriott had attended a class at UNH that night and headed to Dover to see some friends.
Authorities launched a massive search for Marriott's body that began in October, but no trace of her body has yet to be found. Some of the areas where NH Marine Patrol and New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers focused their search were the areas around Peirce Island in Portsmouth and off Fox Point in Newington.
Hinckley said the Attorney General's office has up to 90 days from the time that Mazzaglia was bound over to pursue an indictment from the Strafford County Superior Court Grand Jury in Dover. Hinckley explained that Mazzaglia's bound over date is when he waived his probable cause in Dover District Court on Oct. 26.
Hinckley also said that if state prosecutors need more time to investigate the case before they are ready to present it to the grand jury, they can file a motion in court for an extension, which often occurs in homicide cases.
According to the Strafford County Superior Court clerk's office, the grand jury is scheduled to meet on Thursday, Dec. 20, and may not return any indictments until Dec. 26 because of the Christmas holiday. Hinckley said state prosecutors would not have to be concerned about the 90-day window to indict Mazzaglia until the grand jury sits on Jan. 20, 2013.