DNA Evidence Left at Scene Used to Create Suspect Composite in Series of Unsolved Rapes

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Cold Case Squad continue to investigate six reported residential burglaries and rapes of females that occurred between June 19, 2010 and September 2, 2012 and are believed to have been committed by the same suspect.  Detectives recently sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon), a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping: the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.  Using DNA evidence (body fluids) left by the suspect at these rape scenes, Parabon’s Shapshot DNA Phenotyping Service has produced a composite (referred to as a Snapshot composite) depicting how the suspect in this case may have looked.

How the Suspect Composite Was Created

Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service used the DNA evidence (body fluids) left by the suspect at the scene to produce trait predictions for the suspect.  Individual predictions were made for the subject’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape.  By combining these attributes of appearance, Shapshot composites were produced depicting what the suspect might look like at a certain age and with a certain body-mass index (BMI).  The default ages and default BMIs were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA.

It is important to note that Snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA, and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance.  Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors – e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. – cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subject’s predicted and actual appearances.

Snapshot Suspect Composite

Sketch created by a victim of one of the sexual assaults that depicts a red baseball hat with white embroidered vines and leaves. The victim reported that the suspect wore this hat during the sexual assault.

 

 

Residential Burglary – Rapes of Females:

 

  • On July 31, 2012 at approximately 9:17 p.m., the rape of a 95-year-old woman occurred after her home was broken into in the 2700 block of Avena Street in Wheaton. No DNA evidence was recovered from this rape.

 

Anyone with Information

With the release of the suspect composite, detectives are hoping someone will recognize the suspect and call the Police Department.  Anyone with information regarding the suspect or anyone that believes he/she may have details that might advance this investigation is urged to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

RLG