LANCASTER — The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday evening that a 49-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the 1992 murder of sixth grade teacher Christy Mirack.
Raymond Charles Rowe was taken into custody this afternoon at his residence on Whittier Lane. He is charged with criminal homicide.
Rowe allegedly beat, strangled and sexually assaulted 25-year-old Mirack while she was at her Greenfield Estates townhouse in East Lampeter Township on December 21, 1992. Mirack was found later that day, unresponsive on the floor of her living room, by her school’s principal who went to her home after she did not appear for work. First responders then arrived and determined that Mirack was deceased.
This past November, the district attorney’s office released composite sketches — created by Parabon NanoLabs — that gave the “best image” of the suspect. The sketches came from a genotype, which was formed by using DNA evidence left at the murder scene.
The genotype was then uploaded to a public, genetic geneology database, which resulted in matches to relatives of Rowe, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. Parabon’s genealogical research determined that Rowe was a “strong viable suspect.”
Then in May 31, undercover detectives acquired a water bottle and gum of Rowe’s while he was working as a disc jockey at an event at Smoketown Elementary School, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office stated.
Testing revealed a match between Rowe’s DNA and the DNA found on multiple locations of Mirack’s body and on carpet underneath her body, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said.
“We really cannot give enough credit to Parabon NanoLabs for the work they did which proved absolutely crucial to filing this charge,” District Attorney Craig Stedman said. “Without their work and expertise, quite frankly, we would not be standing here today with the alleged killer of Christy Mirack charged and in custody.”
A preliminary hearing is set for July 26.