04/03/2014 10:31 am ET Updated Apr 03, 2014

Retired Nun's Killer Caught Because He Left Toilet Seat Up

A toilet seat left up at a murder scene was the key to getting the killer convicted.

On Monday, Michael Briggs, 38, confessed to the December, 2012, murder of Mary Greco, an 82-year retired nun in Schenectady, N.Y.

Greco lived alone and hired Briggs to shovel snow off her car.

After her murder, investigators were able to place Briggs at the crime scene when Sgt. Darryl Mallard noticed her toilet seat was in the upright position. He suspected a man had been in the home and had the toilet handle tested for fingerprints, according to

The prints were a match for Briggs, a robber who had fled from parole in a Long Island assault case at the time of the killing, prosecutors told the Associated Press.

Investigators found Briggs’ DNA and fingerprints in numerous places in Greco's apartment as well as surveillance video showing a man believed to be Briggs walking towards Greco’s home with a shovel just before she was killed, reports.

Briggs pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and attempted burglary a week before his trial was set to begin.

He will be sentenced in June to 30 years to life, according to

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