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DJ, 50, given LIFE after genealogy database and gum are used to prove he killed teacher in 1992

A popular Pennsylvania DJ has pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a schoolteacher in 1992 after being identified as a suspect as a result of DNA a relative submitted to a genealogy database.

Raymond Charles Rowe apologized in court Tuesday for killing 25-year-old elementary school teacher Christy Mirack at her apartment in Lancaster. He was sentenced to life without parole.

The case had stymied investigators until authorities used a genealogical database to identify a half-sister of the then-unknown suspect, leading them to the 50-year-old Rowe, who lived just miles from where the murder occurred.

25-year-old elementary school teacher Christy Mirack

Raymond Charles Rowe apologized in court Tuesday for killing 25-year-old elementary school teacher Christy Mirack at her apartment in Lancaster

Undercover detectives obtained DNA from Rowe by collecting his used water bottle and chewing gum at a school where he was DJing last year. It matched DNA found at the murder scene.

Rowe, known as ‘DJ Freez’, was arrested last June.

Mirack was brutally murdered in her home as she prepared to head to work teaching a sixth-grade class

Mirack was brutally murdered in her home as she prepared to head to work teaching a sixth-grade class

Mirack was brutally murdered in her home as she prepared to head to work teaching a sixth-grade class. 

She had suffered a broken jaw in addition to the strangulation and evidence of a violent sexual assault. 

A wooden cutting board, believed to have been used to attack her, was found by her body. An autopsy found wounds to her neck, back, upper chest and face.

The principal of her elementary school, concerned Mirack had not shown up for work four days before Christmas and was not answering calls, discovered the body on her living room floor and called 911.

‘We never let this case go,’ but investigators had run out of suspects, said Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman.

‘This has not been easy. But one of the reasons we’ve stuck with it and never forgotten it is it’s so disturbing.’

The DNA left at the crime scene by the assailant never triggered a match, and Rowe had not been a suspect during years of investigation, Stedman said.

Rowe, known as 'DJ Freez', was arrested last June

He was sentenced to life without parole

Rowe, known as ‘DJ Freez’, was arrested last June. He was sentenced to life without parole

Mirack had suffered a broken jaw in addition to the strangulation and evidence of a violent sexual assault 

Mirack had suffered a broken jaw in addition to the strangulation and evidence of a violent sexual assault 

In December 1992, Rowe lived about 4 miles from the apartment Mirack shared with a roommate, but it is unclear if they knew each other.

Stedman hired a private company to use the DNA to search for relatives of the suspect, and that process identified Rowe. 

‘This killer was at liberty from this crime, this brutal crime, for longer than Christy Mirack was on this earth alive,’ Stedman said at a news conference.

 Undercover detectives obtained DNA from Rowe by collecting his used water bottle and chewing gum at a school where he was DJing last year. It matched DNA found at the murder scene

 Undercover detectives obtained DNA from Rowe by collecting his used water bottle and chewing gum at a school where he was DJing last year. It matched DNA found at the murder scene

‘And they steered us in the path of holding him finally accountable.’

After the suspect’s DNA was found to be a close match of one of Rowe’s relatives who had registered on the website, detectives launched an undercover operation at an elementary school where Rowe was performing on May 31.

This produced a water bottle and gum he had used, and state police subsequently established an alleged genetic match.

Genealogy databases are being used to catch suspects who have managed to evade capture for decades. 

The man believed to be the Golden State Killer evaded authorities for more than 40 years was found. 

Finally in early 2018 investigators used DNA and a genealogical website to identify and arrest Joseph DeAngelo as the alleged killer. He has not entered a plea.

Since the statute of limitations has passed on bringing rape cases, prosecutors charged him with 13 kidnapping-related charges. He is suspected of committing 13 murders and more than 50 rapes

In December 1992, Rowe lived about 4 miles from the apartment Mirack shared with a roommate, but it is unclear if they knew each othe

In December 1992, Rowe lived about 4 miles from the apartment Mirack shared with a roommate, but it is unclear if they knew each othe

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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