Murder trial a long way off |

Murder trial a long way off

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

With a November trial date looming, the murder case against Lisa Platz is at a standstill.

Attorneys are still awaiting results of DNA tests of more than 60 blood stains collected from inside a tent. The results are not expected to arrive for a month because a North Shore investigation has taken priority.

Platz, 32, and James Csucsai, who killed himself in El Dorado County Jail, were wanted by the FBI after they allegedly kidnapped Platz’s 9-year-old daughter, Rebbeca Aramburo, at Lakewood, Wash., in August.

On the morning of Sept. 21, either Platz or Csucsai slit Rebbeca’s throat after a nine-hour standoff with law enforcement at Campground by the Lake, located at the heart of South Lake Tahoe.

Law enforcement raided the tent, found the girl dead and Csucsai and Platz bleeding. The couple were almost unconscious from self-inflicted knife wounds, police said.

El Dorado County District Attorney Gary Lacy hoped to receive more than 30 love letters sent from Csucsai to Platz that are in the hands of Richard Meyer, Platz’s attorney and head public defender for El Dorado County.

At the last court appearance, Meyer promised he would release all of the letters to Lacy. Thus far, Meyer has given the district attorney copies of two of the letters.

On Friday, at El Dorado County Superior Court, Meyers reversed his decision.

“I have no clue what’s in them,” Lacy said. “It’s one of those things that you don’t know what you have until you have it.”

Lacy said the letters and DNA analysis will help him decide whether to seek the death penalty against Platz.

The person at the California Department of Justice whose job it is to process the blood stains is busy working at a North Lake Tahoe excavation site, Lacy said. The site is the Truckee vacation property of Stephen Kiesle, a former priest arrested in May on three counts of child molestation. Police suspect Kiesle may have buried a 7-year-old girl on the property.

Lacy and Meyer spent 30 minutes certifying transcripts from past hearings. Platz was in court, sitting silently, with her wrists shackled.

— Contact William Ferchland at (530) 542-8014 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User