New details about man police say is connected to murder of Sagin - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New details about man police say is connected to murder of Saginaw woman

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MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) -

(11/30/12) - The suspect in an online dating murder case is identified, but the mystery over what led to the death of two people continues.

Investigators believe 30-year-old Steven Fabi killed himself as deputies approached his father's Midland County home on Tuesday.

They believe Fabi shot and killed 45-year-old Leigh Swanson last week, sometime after the two met up for a date.

But there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

For example, investigators are still not sure how Leigh Swanson got out to Steven father's home in the Sanford area.

They do believe Steven Fabi was the man Leigh Swanson was going to meet on Nov. 17 for a date after they corresponded on the website MeetMe.com. But, they are still looking at the possibility someone may have helped Fabi move the body.

MeetMe.com can be accessed through your Facebook login. Fabi was a Facebook friend of ABC12 News.

Midland County Sheriff Jerry Nielsen says detectives are researching his Facebook page for any type of clues to what may have lead to Swanson's murder.

These are the events of the last two weeks surrounding the disappearance and death of Leigh Swanson: Police say the last time she sees friends and family is Nov. 17, she talks with her mother on Nov. 18, and then on Nov. 20, she is reported missing. Almost a week later, Steven Fabi kills himself as deputies approach his father's Midland County home on Nov. 27, and the next day, Swanson's body is found in woods across from the house.

Saginaw Township Police originally investigated the case and had first contacted Fabi on Tuesday.

They thought they were calling Swanson's cell phone number, a number they had tried to call since Thanksgiving Day.

"Then on the morning of the 27th, we tried again to make contact through that phone number and were surprised when a male voice answered the telephone number. The subject identified himself as Steve and we had conversation with him concerning the whereabouts of Leigh," said Don Pussehl, Saginaw Township Police Chief. "At that time I believe he said she was at his house, and picked up by another man, and left with this other man."

Investigators have identified the person the Fabi was talking about as a man named Tim, but believe he has nothing to do with the case. But Nielsen is not convinced that Fabi alone could have moved Swanson's body from the house to a wooded area across the road.

Police are still interviewing people Fabi knew.

"Communicating with other people, talking to them, seeing what they know, what they've heard and if they knew if Steven had done this type of thing in the past," Nielsen said. "Just trying to figure out how he gets people to and from his home. Apparently he doesn't drive. He's got some type of injury, hip or leg injury so he is not very mobile." 

Police are saying this case is a reminder of the dangers of searching for love over the Internet.

Zigmond Kozicki, a Saginaw psychiatrist, says more people are searching for romance over the Internet than ever before - and they need to be careful.

"There are people who are felons, murderers, rapists, pedophiles, all the nasty people out there in society who use this as getting access to people," he said.

Meetme.com is free. Investigators, and Kozicki, say that's something to watch out for.

"I think that the services that you pay for, I think that we expect they're doing some screening, some sort of background information or whatever, but you can't be sure of that and if you ever read the fine print, they right up front tell you they're not responsible for anything that goes wrong," Kozicki said.

If you do wish to make a match online, getting background information about that person such as where they work and who their friends are is never a bad idea. Knowing the signs of a predator is key.

"I think the first thing to look out for is any inconsistencies, in particular when you ask questions and the person either delays answering the question or gives you some kind of response that seems far-fetched," Kozicki said.

The public relations person at meetme.com released a statement to the Saginaw news saying the site is a social space and not a dating site.

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