A disc jockey who uses the professional handle “DJ Freez” has been arrested in the 25-year-old homicide case of a Lancaster County school teacher.
Raymond C. Rowe, 49, was taken into custody at his Lancaster home on Monday and charged with criminal homicide in the death of Christy Ann Mirack, District Attorney Craig Stedman said.
Mirack was 25 years old and a sixth-grade teacher at Rohrerstown Elementary School when she was found beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted in her East Lampeter Township home on Dec. 21, 1992.
Stedman said the break in the case came through genetic genealogy analysis, the same technology that led police in California to a suspect in the Golden State Killer cases earlier this year. DNA in the Mirack case was privately uploaded to GEDmatch, a public website where people can share their DNA profiles to find relatives, and that resulted in a significant match to a close relative of Rowe.
A further detailed ancestral and genealogical analysis determined Rowe was a strong viable suspect. In December 1992, he lived about four miles from Mirack, the criminal complaint states.
That wasn’t enough for an arrest, however, so undercover troopers set up video surveillance at Rowe’s house, and on May 31 they secretly collected DNA samples from chewing gum and a water bottle Rowe used while working as a disc jockey for an event at Smoketown Elementary School.
Rowe’s DNA was submitted to a Pennsylvania State Police crime lab, and testing revealed a match between his DNA and DNA from the Mirack case.
The district attorney said Rowe was never a suspect in the case before the DNA match. Investigators aren’t sure if Mirack knew him.
“We are not at a point where we are discussing or speculating about a motive. Considering the time that has passed, some specific questions about motive might never be answered publicly,” Stedman said. “I can say, in consideration of all the information and evidence – to include the DNA found at the scene – we know that this defendant raped and brutally murdered Christy Mirack.”
Rowe is being held in Lancaster County Prison without bail. Stedman said prosecutors will likely seek the death penalty.