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Virginia Beach police make arrest in 24-year-old homicide case

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Posted at 9:55 AM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-22 14:20:31-05

UPDATE: Robert Malick waived his extradition hearing on Monday, December 22nd in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is likely to be retrieved by Virginia Beach authorities and brought back to Virginia Beach within the next two weeks. 


Virginia Beach, Va. – Police have now made an arrest in a 24-year-old homicide case.

17-year-old Joan Schoppaul was last seen on the morning of Tuesday, December 4, 1990. She was to return home after visiting a friend. She never arrived. Her worried parents filed a missing persons report, according to police.

Robert Malick

Robert Malick

Within twenty-four hours of leaving home, Joan’s body was found. She had been wrapped in a blue sleeping bag which had been disposed of in a dumpster behind the former Food Lion Supermarket located at 4740 Baxter Road. She was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy and the case was ruled a homicide.

After exhausting all leads over the years, Joan’s homicide was reassigned to the Cold Case Unit.

Virginia Beach Cold Case detectives “tirelessly and methodically” reworked the case bit by bit, looking for the missing puzzle piece. Using advanced technology and current forensic techniques to further their investigation, police say they were able to identify a suspect.

On December 15, 2014, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop “E” Criminal Investigative Unit, detectives located and arrested 46-year-old Robert William Malick of the 7000 block of Edinboro Row, Erie, Pennsylvania.

Malick has been charged with Second Degree Murder and is currently being held in Pennsylvania awaiting extradition to Virginia Beach.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 for updates as they are released.

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