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Cops & Courts

Brunswick man charged in Medina woman's death

  • 23081118

    Richard L. Berger

    MG

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    Starr Pawliczka

    MG

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A Brunswick resident was arrested Saturday on murder charges in connection with the death of a 25-year-old Medina woman two years ago this month.

Richard L. Berger, 68, of the 1600 block of Stoneybrook Lane, is charged with two counts of murder, involuntary manslaughter and abduction in the death of Starr Pawliczka, according to common pleas court records.

On Monday, Brunswick police Lt. Robert Safran said the case was very complicated and detectives put a lot of leg work in to make an arrest.

Berger is being held at the Medina County Jail.

According to a 2016 police report, Berger, who lived in an apartment at RHM Manor, called 911 at 3:46 a.m. April 18, a Monday.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with her. Maybe she’s having a seizure,” he said during the 911 call to Brunswick dispatch.

The initial report said members of the Brunswick fire department found Pawliczka unconscious with injuries “possibly related to blunt force trauma.”

Pawliczka, who had symptoms consistent with a drug overdose, was transported to the Brunswick campus of the Cleveland Clinic and later flown to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center, where she died the following Tuesday.

At the time, the police department’s community policing coordinator said the death was being investigated as suspicious.

After police arrived on April 18, Berger told them Pawliczka had been staying with him for “a day or two” and described the nature of their relationship as platonic, the report said.

He said he met Pawliczka a few years ago at Christie’s Cabaret in Brunswick.

Berger told police he wasn’t related to Pawliczka, despite the fact that she referred to him as “Uncle Larry.” He told police Pawliczka’s boyfriend threw her out of their apartment in Medina and she was staying at RHM Manor temporarily.

Brunswick police said the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the case.



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