Lee County authorities search for answers in 21-year-old murder case

Author: Andrew Scheinthal
Published: Updated:

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Authorities are still searching for answers in a decades-old murder.

For the first time in 21 years, David Comparetto’s family has come to peace with realizing they may never know what happened.

Comparetto lived a simple life. He struggled with physical and mental disabilities but his mother Patsy says that never stopped him from working hard.

“But he was a kid that kind of always fell between the cracks,” said Patsy.

David struggled to maintain a social life until his mother says he discovered he could pay to have one. He started to go to strip clubs.

“He always wanted a girlfriend, he wanted friends. He just showed up there and he got attention, but he was paying for it.”

Patsy’s not entirely sure what her son was doing at those clubs, but she believes they somehow play a role in David’s death.

Her doorbell rang at 4:30 a.m. on October 16, 1993.

“They had found a car on fire in Lehigh Acres and when they put the fire out, they opened the trunk… his burned body was in there.”

“As a puzzle is, sometimes you only need that one piece,” said Major William Kalstrom.

Kalstrom has been working the case for years.

“We know there’s specific information in this case, we believe that there’s witnesses out there,” said Kalstrom. He says solving this case would take a witness coming forward.

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott has a personal connection with this case.

“If we could solve this case, I’d walk out the door tomorrow morning,” said Sheriff Scott.

Scott was childhood friends with the victim. The case is so personal to the sheriff, he’s even made a promise to the public.

“If there was one thing I could do, that I could make it happen and walk out the door tomorrow morning, literally tomorrow morning mid-term, if we could solve this case, I’d walk out the door tomorrow morning if somebody would make that deal,” said Sheriff Scott.

“After 21 years, I have finally resigned myself to the fact that it may not be solved in our lifetimes,” said the victim’s mother Patsy. “I fully believe my son is in heaven, and I fully believe he has a perfect body. No one will ever tease him again, no one will ever hurt him again, and one day we’ll see him again.”

In the meantime, when times are tough, Patsy digs through old photos. She recently came across a letter David wrote before his death:

“If I were a good samaritan, I would help people who are hurt, and I would help them feel good, and maybe help them be a good friend to me. And maybe, when I would get hurt, they would be a good friend and when they help me, I will help them, and I think that would help them feel very good.”

21 years later, Patsy hopes it’s that message that will move someone to say something.

Sheriff Scott says the public is the last piece to this painful puzzle. If you have any information about that night, please contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS  (8477). You can remain anonymous.

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