Genealogy database, gum help convict DJ in ’92 killing

 

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A former DJ has pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a Shamokin native in 1992 after he was 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. She grew up in Shamokin and graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School in 1985.

 

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.

 

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.

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