CRIME

DNA links 1998 D.C. killing to series of Md. rapes

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(AP, ABC7) - Investigators say DNA connects the 1998 killing of a woman in Georgetown to a series of sexual assaults in Montgomery County from the same time.

Now police in the District of Columbia plan to start a website to drum up interest in the case and elicit tips on the suspect.

Police say DNA links eight rapes or attempted sexual assaults from 1991 to 1998 to the beating death 13 years ago of Christine Mirzayan. Mirzayan was walking home in Georgetown when police say she was attacked, sexually assaulted and bludgeoned. She was participating in a fellowship program with the National Academies of Science.

Police say the man would be in his 40s today. He may have lived or worked in North Potomac, where the sexual assaults took place. Investigators aren't sure if the suspect is still committing crimes, in prison or even still alive.

“I just find it hard to believe that a person that would sexually assault eight women, progressively getting more violent, would suddenly just stop because he killed a woman. That's not going to stop someone of this nature. He's a violent predator,” said Captain Michael Farish, homicide branch commander.

   
suspect
   
A police sketch shows the suspect.

The website is modeled after the one the FBI used to catch the east coast rapist. After eluding the bureau for years, he was caught within two weeks of launching the site.

“It was a really good idea and in law enforcement we're not opposed to borrowing someone's really good idea,” Farish said.

   
Chocolate strawberries
   
Homicide victim Christine Mirzayan

The MPD site will include the sketch, times and locations of his crimes and a place to submit anonymous tips. The website's name and address are forthcoming.

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