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Phoenix man charged with murder after body found in LaFayette

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Phoenix man charged with murder after body found in LaFayette
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A Phoenix man was arraigned Tuesday evening on murder charges. The arrest came quickly, after the body of a Geddes woman was found in LaFayette on Monday. Police arrested Larry Frank, 49, of Phoenix, around 5:30 p.m. Monday in Pennsylvania. He is charged with second degree murder for the death of his sister-in-law, Patricia Gryczka, 53. Sheriff's deputies say he does have a criminal record, but wouldn't elaborate. Our Katie Gibas has been following the investigation and tells us what led to the arrest.

LAFAYETTE, N.Y. -- Authorities weren't too surprised when they got a call around four Monday morning for a suspicious person on a rural property in the Town of LaFayette.

"At that time of day, this time of year, we're chasing hunting calls and illegal trespassing," said Cpt. Dan Brogan, Onondaga County Sheriff's Department.

The person who called police was able to give them a description and the license plate number of the car that drove off. After running the license plate number, Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies identified the car as belonging to Patricia Gryczka, 53. When investigators searched the property, they found a woman's body.

"That was a very good clue at the very front end of the investigation, which allowed it to quickly move on. Not having had that information, it would have been a much more difficult investigation," said Onondaga County Undersheriff Warren Darby.

Authorities went to Gryczka's home in Geddes to find it had been broken into. At that point, they contacted her sister in Phoenix.

When Phoenix police arrived, they say Gryczka's brother-in-law, Larry Frank, 49, fled and led police on a high speed chase before they lost him.

"When we have a major scene like this and we had two scenes going on. We have resources all tied up. Both the State Police and Sheriff's office are down considerably, with regards to police officers, so our patrol officers are down, so be able to react quickly at that hour on a high speed chase is a challenge," said Darby.

Police eventually tracked Frank through his credit card use to Pennsylvania. While in custody, he admitted killing Gryczka, who was his sister-in-law. They say it appears Frank may have strangled Gryczka at her home Sunday evening during a robbery. After midnight, Deputies say Frank returned to the home and transported the body to LaFayette in Gryczka's car. Authorities say with several different scenes, the investigation took a lot of manpower.

"There were resources from here to Clearfield, Pennsylvania, multiple states, multiple counties all alerted and trying to help us along the way. But we were were obviously behind, so it was significant manpower resources," said Brogan.

Frank was arraigned in Geddes town court Tuesday evening. He is charged with second degree murder. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison on that charge alone. An Onondaga County Assistant District Attorney says other charges are pending.

He is scheduled to be back in court Monday afternoon for a preliminary hearing.

Press Conference

A Phoenix man has been charged in connection to the death of Patricia Gryczka, 53. Larry Frank, 49, was arrested in Lawrence Township in Pennsylvania Monday night. Investigators say they found a loaded handgun in his car. Deputies released more details in the case at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. You can watch the entire press conference below.

CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Phoenix man charged with murder after body found in LaFayette
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