Police have arrested a woman in connection to the 1998 killing of a woman in Farmington.
Katherine Pires, 50, of Hartford, was arrested and charged with second-degree hindering prosecution and interfering with an officer, police said.
On Sept. 24, 1998, 26-year-old Agnieszka Ziemlewski was found shot to death on a trail at the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) Reservoir off Old Mountain Road near the West Hartford-Farmington line. Police said she was shot at close range and investigators do not believe it was random.
Ziemlewski, who was known as Agnes or Niki to her friends, had emigrated from Poland with her family in the 1980s. She was living in an apartment in West Hartford and working at United Health Care in Hartford at the time of her death.
Police emphasized that the area where Ziemlewski was shot is not a high crime area.
Police said that in 2018, their detective unit partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Behavioral Analysis Unit to conduct a review of the case file. They say tremendous progress has been made since then.
That review of the case led investigators to re-interview several suspects and witnesses.
"In regards to Katherine Pires -- some of her statements were of a criminal nature to deliberately steer investigators away from one of the persons of interest in this case," Lt. Tim McKenzie said.
Pires has a close relationship with one person of interest and she is also familiar with a second person of interest, according to Lt. McKenzie.
Pires appeared in court by video conference on Monday morning. The judge set her bond at $25,000. She is scheduled to be back in court on July 14.
"We know that there are more witnesses out there that are familiar with this investigation that could provide the information that would lead our investigators to make the arrest of the person or persons who murdered Agnes," Lt. McKenzie said.
In a statement, Pires' attorney Aaron Jainchill said she has "nothing to do with the crimes she is accused of and nothing to do with the murder of Ms. Ziemlewski in 1998."
"We recognize the Farmington Police Department is desperate to find an answer to this tragic event and we are sorry that the family of the victim has not found justice. Arresting an innocent woman is not justice and we are dedicated to the pursuit of clearing Katherine’s name," the statement continues.
Police said the maximum reward amount under state general statutes of $50,000 is being offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Ziemlewski's murder.
"I can’t stress it enough that if you know anything at all, if you were afraid to come forward at any time in the last 22 years, now is the time," Lt. McKenzie said. "Please come forward and offer the investigators the assistance we need to close this investigation. We’re very close. Anything at all that you may provide may be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the bad guys."
Anyone with information that may be relevant to the case can contact the tip line at 860-673-8266 or email email@example.com.