Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Breaking News

DNA Solves 1994 Murder Of 'Caring' Woman Strangled In Honolulu

DNA has pointed police in the direction of Cecil H. Trent, who they say killed Lisa “Lika” Fracassi by strangling her.

By Gina Tron
Police photo of Lisa Fracassi

Nearly 30 years after an aspiring nurse was strangled to death, DNA has led officials to her suspected killer.

Police have determined that Cecil H. Trent, 29, strangled Lisa “Lika” Fracassi, 37, to death in Waikiki, a press release from the Honolulu Police Department states.

She was last seen alive in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 1994; her body was found in on Nov. 3.

While her murder remained unsolved for decades, the Honolulu Police Department renewed efforts to solve it in 2020, along with assistance from the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, according to the press release. They enlisted the services of forensic genetic genealogy research laboratory Parabon NanoLabs, in hopes that DNA could point to her killer.

Using DNA found at the crime scene, Parabon Genealogist CeCe Moore was able to compare DNA and reexamine fingerprints left at the scene. The research resulted in the identification of Trent “as the primary, and likely only, suspect in this case,” police state.

Trent was 29 years at the time of Fracassi’s murder. He died in 2013 in Honolulu of congestive heart failure at the age of 48, Hawaii News Now reports.

A Star-Bulletin article included in the police press release shows that Fracassi was an exotic dancer who had goals of becoming a nurse.

“She was a caring person, like a nurse, who would sit for hours with people who needed help,” her friend America St. Thomas told that outlet in 1994.

“She wanted to be a nurse, and started dancing so she could save up money to go to school," St. Thomas said. "But with a regular job, it’s difficult to go to nursing school. Once you get involved in night life, it’s even harder.”

An obituary published in Fracassi's hometown newspaper, The Buffalo News, in 1994 says that Fracassi had received a degree in nursing from Broward County University and worked as a nurse in Fort Lauderdale before moving to Hawaii in 1990. (In 1978, there was a Broward Community College, now known as Broward College, which offered 2-year nursing degrees; nurses have to pass a separate licensing exam to practice in the state of Hawaii.)

Read more about: