Patricia Wlasiuk Death: Where is Peter Wlasiuk Now?

Image Credit: W H/Find a Grave

When the registered nurse, Patricia Wlasiuk, was found drowned in a lake, it launched a criminal investigation that saw many twists and turns. Covering the investigation, the episode titled ‘Dark Plunge’ of Oxygen’s ‘Accident, Suicide, or Murder’ also focuses on the events that led to the untimely demise of the mother of three and the aftermath. The episode also features exclusive interviews with the victim’s family members and friends, giving intricate details about Patricia’s life and the complicated case.

Patricia Wlasiuk Was Found Drowned at the Bottom of Guilford Lake

William Schoonmaker and Joyce Rosa gave birth to Patricia “Patty” J. Schoonmaker Wlasiuk on February 19, 1967, in the village of Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. However, soon after her birth, the family moved to the village of Sidney, New York, where Patricia grew up alongside her brothers — Manny, Bill, and Jerome — and sisters — Wendy, Laurie, Lisa, and Joanne. Being a bright and intelligent woman, she landed a job as a registered nurse at The Hospital in Sidney. Patricia crossed paths with a mullet-wearing guy named Peter Wlasiuk when the latter was visiting some of his relatives in Sidney. Later, he relocated to the area to stay close to Patricia. One thing led to another, and the two were head over heels in love with each other.

Image Credit: Tombstoner & Family/Find a Grave

In 1996, Patricia and Peter got married in Las Vegas. In the coming years, the couple gave birth to three daughters — Ashlee, Jolynn, and Rebecca. However, Patricia’s son, William Schoonmaker, from a previous relationship was also part of their family. Just a year later, in 1997, they purchased a house with a backyard swimming pool at 633 New Virginia Road in Oxford, New York. By the summer of 2001, they also became the owners of a bar called The Pillars, which they renamed the Angel Inn. With a seemingly picture-perfect family and life, things were looking up for the Wlasiuks until 35-year-old Patricia met with an accident and drowned on April 3, 2002, in Guilford Lake.

In the early morning hours, the police arrived at the scene, and a team of professional divers pulled her body from the lake. As one of the officers tried to revive her by giving mouth-to-mouth respiration, he could taste fresh beer from her mouth. When it failed, she was rushed to The Hospital. Unfortunately, she was announced dead at the hospital when even her colleagues could not revive her. Although there were a few scrapes and petechial hemorrhages on her body, the cause of her death was declared to be drowning.

Patricia Wlasiuk’s Killer Claimed That Her Death Was Accidental

As the police questioned Peter Wlasiuk about the details of the tragedy, he claimed that the previous night, Patricia forgot to pick their children up from the babysitter’s house after her shift at the hospital. According to him, they decided to pick them up together, with Patricia in the driver’s seat. But on their way, a deer suddenly appeared in front of the car. As she swerved to avoid hitting it, the truck plunged into Guilford Lake. While he managed to come out of the water, he failed to bring his wife with him. He claimed that he then went to the house of Thomas and Jessica Becker to ask for help.

Image Credit: Secrets of the Morgue/Lake of Lies

But as the investigators dug deeper into the case and certain developments were made, the leads appeared to contradict Peter’s version of events. This made him a person of interest and potentially a suspect in the eyes of the police. What raised the eyebrows of the detectives even further was when he changed his story of the fateful night a couple of times. In one version, he claimed that he was driving the truck because Patricia had been drinking that night, and in another, he told the detectives that they were arguing when she drove the truck into the lake. However, his version of events did not add up, as no water was found in Patricia’s lungs.

Moreover, the suspect seemed to be faking hypothermia in front of the authorities as upon his body’s examination, only an hour after the incident, his temperature was just a bit above normal, which did not suggest hypothermia. Deep into the investigation, the detectives came across Patricia’s personal diaries, which revealed a three-way relationship between her, Peter, and their babysitter, Joyce Worden. According to the diaries, the registered nurse was worried that her husband might get closer to Joyce. With all these developments in mind, the police came up with a plausible theory of their own. They believed that on the fateful night, Peter deliberately left the children with Joyce in order to get rid of Patricia at home.

According to the police, once she was drunk, the suspect then killed her outside the property by strangling her. He then put her in the truck, drove down to the lake, and steered the vehicle into the water, jumping out right before it hit the water. The investigators also found several motives for him to commit murder — wanting Joyce as his new partner, life insurance money, and sole custody of their kids. On the grounds of all the evidence against him, the police arrested Peter Wlasiuk on April 8, 2002, and held him behind bars without bail.

Peter Wlasiuk is Incarcerated in a New York Prison Awaiting His Parole Date

In the fall of 2002, Peter Wlasiuk stood trial for the second-degree murder of Patricia Wlasiuk. At the end of the trial, the jury found him guilty of the charges against him and sentenced him to 25 years in prison. However, the convict has been maintaining his innocence and is determined to get his conviction overturned. In 2006, the court overturned his guilty verdict, but only for a short while, as upon retrial, he was found guilty yet again and reindicted in 2007 before getting convicted of second-degree murder for a second time in 2008. Again, in 2011, his conviction was overturned only for him to be found guilty again in 2012.

Image Credit: Secrets of the Morgue: Lake of Lies

While Peter was determined to prove his innocence, he met an advocate named Heather in 2015. Over the years, the two shared letters and phone calls and began seeing each other. They made their relationship official in November 2019 by getting married. With Heather’s backing and support, Peter appealed for his conviction to be overturned again in 2016, only to be denied by the court. As of 2021, Heather continued to fight for her husband’s freedom and claimed that he was wrongfully convicted. Currently, he is serving his sentence at NYSDOC Midstate Correctional Facility at 9005 Old River Road in Marcy, New York. He will be eligible for parole in March 2027.

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