20 years after he played a key role in helping solve a case that captivated many in the Syracuse-area, former detective Nick Vassenelli is now sharing what he’s learned with a new generation of students. 

Vassenelli’s work helped bring the April Gregory case to an end in 1997.

The year-and-a-half long search for the 18-year old came to an end when her boyfriend admitted to killing and dismembering her.  

Vassenelli spoke at Syracuse University on Wednesday. 

“We worked it as hard if not harder than any other case we worked on,” the former detective said. “We touched every single facet of her life.”

He said still, after 20 years, there’s a takeaway for current SU students and young people from Gregory’s story. 

“Pay attention to your surroundings,” Vassenelli said. “Pay attention to people you know. They may be the people that are most dangerous to you because they know how you act.”