Detectives from the Major Crimes Division – Homicide/Sex Section, Cold Case Squad have solved a 25-year-old cold case rape through the use of DNA.
On May 31, 1987, a 20-year-old woman was raped in her apartment located in the Greencastle Woods neighborhood of Silver Spring. Investigation revealed that the victim awoke to find a male subject armed with a knife inside her apartment. The subject threatened her with the knife and proceeded to rape her. The subject then fled from the apartment. The victim was transported to a local hospital where DNA evidence was obtained. The DNA evidence was submitted to the Crime Lab, but no suspects were developed at that time.
In February 2012, detectives were reviewing unsolved cases involving DNA evidence. The DNA evidence that was obtained in 1987 was submitted to Bode Technology, and a suspect DNA profile was developed. This information was relayed to detectives who then provided the DNA profile to the MCP Crime Lab to be loaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
On July 2, 2012, detectives were notified by the MCP Crime Lab that the DNA profile was a match to a convicted rapist, William David Trice, that had been responsible for two rapes in Anne Arundel County, MD in 1988. Detectives learned that Thrice was already deceased as he had committed suicide in jail after being convicted in one of the Anne Arundel rape cases in January 2010. (Read more about Anne Arundel cases here.)
In total, Thrice is linked to three now solved cold cases, one in Montgomery County and two in Anne Arundel County. Due to the similarities in these cases and the short time frame in which these rapes occurred (1987-88), surrounding jurisdictions are encouraged to review any unsolved rape cases from the mid- to late 1980’s to determine whether a DNA profile can be run for a CODIS match.
Anyone with information about this case or possible related cases is asked to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Detectives are also encouraging anyone that believes that they may have been a victim of Trice and never made a report to police to contact them at 240-773-5070.