October 17, 2011
Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer


Within days of a 31-year-old Holly Hill woman going missing in February, Michael Annicchiarico was lying about everything from when he had last seen his ex-girlfriend and what she had been driving at the time to why his hands were so swollen. Considered a person of interest early on in Mandy Ciehanoski’s disappearance, Volusia County Sheriff’s investigators have been methodically building a case against Annicchiarico for the last eight months. Based on the findings of the investigation, the Volusia County Grand Jury on Monday returned an indictment against Annicchiarico for 1st-degree murder. The case, brought before the Grand Jury by the State Attorney’s Office, additionally charges Annicchiarico with tampering with evidence. While Sheriff’s investigators are all but certain that Ciehanoski is dead, her body hasn’t been found. But all the signs point to Annicchiarico being her killer.

Family members reported Ciehanoski as missing to the Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 14, although Feb. 7 was the last time anyone had seen her. During the initial investigation, Annicchiarico told investigators that he hadn’t seen the victim for about two years. That turned out to be a lie. Investigators turned up evidence that the two were together on Feb. 7, the day Ciehanoski disappeared. And when Annicchiarico reported to work two days later, his boss noted that his hands were swollen. He claimed the injury occurred during a fracas in which he had been thrown out of a strip club. But when questioned by Sheriff’s investigators, Annicchiarico insisted he hadn’t been to a strip club in years. He also lied about an incident where he texted pictures of himself and Ciehanoski having sex. The two had an on-again, off-again relationship, and Ciehanoski’s family considered Annicchiarico to be violent and controlling. Ciehanoski had confided in family members that one time, Annicchiarico had awakened her and dragged her outside to show her a hole in the ground. He told Ciehanoski that’s where she would end up if he ever caught her cheating. While locked up in jail, Annicchiarico wrote numerous letters to Ciehanoski. Sheriff’s investigators were told that one of them appeared to have been written in blood.

Annicchiarico has been behind bars at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach since Feb. 24, facing a variety of charges that include making a false report to law enforcement, providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation, grand theft, forgery and unlawful transfer of a title. Meanwhile, the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Case Unit into the disappearance turned up more evidence pointing to Annicchiarico. That included blood-stained bed sheets stuffed into a trash bag found in Annicchiarico’s closet, a pair of discarded latex gloves -- one of which had blood on the inside -- found in the trash outside of Annicchiarico’s home and blood in the trunk of the car that Annicchiarico was using at the time of Ciehanoski’s disappearance. The blood in the glove matched Annicchiarico’s, while a DNA analysis of the blood in the car and on the linens showed that there was an almost mathematical certainty that it came from someone related to Ciehanoski’s parents. Sheriff’s investigators tried to question Annicchiarico about the blood, but he got nervous and said he thought he needed a lawyer. 

Witness interviews also point the finger at Annicchiarico. One close friend of Annicchiarico told investigators that he had been threatening to kill Ciehanoski for years and even talked about where would be a good place to dump the body. Investigators along with cadaver dogs have searched more than a dozen locations, but haven’t been able to find the body. Another friend said that Annicchiarico had admitted to killing Ciehanoski and even gave him some of her jewelry to dispose of. But first, the friend had to soak the jewelry in peroxide to wash the blood off of it. A jail inmate also has come forward to tell investigators that while incarcerated, Annicchiarico divulged to him that he had killed Ciehanoski.

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