The body of Laura Garza, a young woman last seen leaving a Manhattan nightclub with a sex offender on Dec. 3, 2008, has been found in Pennsylvania, police said.
DNA analysis of bones found April 11 in Mount Cobb, near Scranton, confirmed her identity.
Garza, 25, a dancer from McAllen, Texas, who had moved to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, five months earlier, was last seen with Michael Mele, 24, leaving Chelsea’s Marquee Club. He was questioned but never charged in her disappearance.
Authorities searched Mele’s condo and found that pieces of carpeting had been cut out. Yesterday officials noted he hasn’t cooperated with investigators.
Mele has a history of exposing himself and masturbating on girls and women in malls — in Paramus, N.J., and at the Palisades Center Mall in Rockland County. He was arrested in 2007 and required to register as a Level 1 sex offender.
The son of a retired MTA assistant deputy police chief, Mele was convicted of parole violations unrelated to Garza’s disappearance including failing to tell state authorities he had moved from his parents’ home to his Wallkill condo. He was denied parole last month.