Investigators wait for lab evidence in Zupan case |

Investigators wait for lab evidence in Zupan case

County Sheriff’s investigators have shifted gears toward background research on the Shauneen Zupan murder case, as they wait for evidence to be tested at the state criminal laboratory in Sacramento.

No arrests have been made in the case, now more than two months old.

Zupan, 58, was shot twice in the head on the evening of Nov. 15 while she was at the wheel of the family’s mini-van. She and her husband, Frank A. Zupan, 60, were driving on McCourtney Road near their home on Retrac Way when the shooting occurred.

“We’re waiting to get results on physical evidence,” Sheriff’s Lt. Ron Smith said. “Those results will dictate the direction we take.”

In the meantime, investigators continue to interview friends, co-workers and, lately, relatives of the Zupans. Investigators follow each interview with a background check, Smith said.

On Nov. 22, forensic experts from the state Department of Justice’s Criminalistics Laboratory poured over the Zupans’ Chrysler LX minivan looking for clues to what happened. They plan to take a closer look at doors, seats and carpets at their lab ” as soon as they have time.

But the laboratory is shorthanded, Smith said.

“They’ve got a handful of criminalists processing all the evidence” from cases throughout the state, Smith said. “They don’t consider this case of the highest priority because no one is in custody.”

When a suspect has been charged, the courts are under pressure to start a trial as soon as possible to protect the accused’s constitutional guarantee to a speedy trial. The highest-priority case for the lab now, Smith said, is the murder case of California Highway Patrol Officer Andy Stevens, who was shot Nov. 17 after stopping a vehicle.

The man charged in the Steven murder, Brendt Volarvich, is scheduled to enter a plea on Jan. 30, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Investigators in the Zupan case also have combed the location of the shooting and searched the Zupan home. They have interviewed coworkers of Zupan, who worked at the California Department of Human Services in Sacramento.

Investigators have said Frank Zupan is a “person of interest” in the case.

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