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    Virginia man arrested after DNA links him to 2 women's cold case murders

    By Kerry Breen,

    2024-03-06

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2x3F7G_0riZkqHF00

    Inside the genetic genealogy being used to solve crimes 13:49

    A Virginia man has been arrested after being connected to two cold case murders through DNA evidence.

    The first murder occurred in 1986, authorities said. Jacqueline Lard of Stafford County was last seen on Nov. 15, 1986, as the real estate office where she worked closed for the day. The next morning, Lard's coworkers found a crime scene at the office that the Stafford Police Department say indicated a "horrific struggle." Investigators determined that the 32-year-old and her vehicle were both missing. Two juveniles playing in a wooded area found Lard's body the next day beneath a pile of discarded carpet.

    The second murder occurred in March 1989, when Stafford County woman Amy Baker disappeared while visiting family in Falls Church, Virginia, Fairfax County police said . Baker, 18, never returned home from the visit. Her car was found unoccupied that same night, and her family reported her missing. Her family searched the area and found Baker's body in a wooded area near an exit ramp on I-95.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2P3iDE_0riZkqHF00
    Jacqueline Lard. Stafford County Sheriff's Office.

    Forensic evidence from both murders was used to identify Baker and Lard's alleged killer. In 2021, detectives with the Fairfax County Police Department's cold case team submitted evidence from Baker's death to DNA Labs International. A DNA profile was created and uploaded to Virginia's state database. This allowed those investigating Lard's death to connect the two killings.

    Detectives then used forensic genetic genealogy , with the assistance of Parabon NanoLabs and the Virginia State Police's Unsolved Violent Crimes and Cold Cases Analytical Support Team, to identify the family name of a possible suspect. Through that, police began to investigate 65-year-old Elroy Harrison, a Stafford County resident.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2Cy5TU_0riZkqHF00
    Amy Baker. Fairfax County Sheriff's Office

    The investigation into Harrison began in February 2024. On March 4, Harrison was indicted by a Stafford County grand jury on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, abduction with the intent to defile and aggravated malicious wounding of Lard. Harrison has not yet been charged in relation with Baker's murder, Fairfax County officials said, but an investigation is ongoing.

    Harrison was arrested on March 5, and remains in the Rappahannock Regional Jail. He has been denied bond, jail records show.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jacqueline's and Amy's family and friends and we hope this arrest can bring them some peace," the Stafford County Sheriff's Office said.

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