Sister Catherine Cesnik case: Tests Show Girl Fought With Killer

The 20-year old Lansdowne girl whose body was found Thursday on the Fort Meade reservation struggled with her attacker before she was murdered, an autopsy revealed yesterday.
The victim, Joyce Helen Malecki, was choked, stabbed once in the throat and dropped in the Little Patuxent River with her hands bound behind her with what appeared to be a knapsack cord the autopsy showed.
"The number of scratches and bruises on her body indicated a struggle ensued," Dr. Isidore Mihalakis, an assistant state medical examiner, said after performing the autopsy yesterday.
Further Tests Needed
Dr. Mihalakis said the cause of the girl's death was either by choking or drowning. "lt will require further tests to determine the exact cause of death," the pathologist said.
The single, deep knife wound found in the victim's throat was not sufficient to cause death, Dr. Mihalakis. He said the autopsy also showed that the victim had about 15 superficial cuts on the neck and abrasions on her forehead, nose and chin.
Miss Malecki, of the 200 block of Laverne avenue, had gone shopping at the Glen Burnie mall and was scheduled to keep a date with a friend stationed at the Army base, when she disappeared Tuesday night.
Her body was found Thursday morning by two hunters who were constructing a deer blind on a section at Fort Meade known as Soldiers Park. The body was discovered partially in the water and on the bank of the Little Patuxent River, the FBI said yesterday.
A strand of cord was around each of the girls' wrists and a 10-inch piece of loose cord was between the knotted ends.
Edwm R. Tully, special FBI agent in charge of the Baltimore office, satd a number of suspects
are being investigated in the slaying. He declined to give specifics on the investigation, and
refused to speculate on a motive for the killing.
Mr. Tully said that 10 agents from his office are involved in the investIgation.
Miss Malecki was wearing a brown turtle-neck sweater and plaid slacks, when she disappeared. She was employed in the credit department of a Baltimore liquor company. She was described as a tall, thin girl -- standing about 5 feet, 7 inches and weighing 112 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes.
Meanwhile, Baltimore city homicide detectives are continuing their search for Sister Catherine Cesnik, who disappeared from her Southwest Baltimore apartment last Friday.
Homicide detectives report that Sisler Cesnik is still considered a missing person, and that they find no connection between her case and that of Miss Malecki.

The Baltimore Sun is republishing archived coverage of the unsolved 1969 murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, which is the subject of a Netflix documentary series set to debut May 19. Cesnik, a 26-year-old Baltimore nun, was reported missing in November 1969 and her body was found in Lansdowne in January 1970. These stories appear as they were originally written in The Sun or The Evening Sun.