Police in Maryland have announced a significant breakthrough in two cold case rapes over 40 years ago. According to reports, a man who died in 2017 has been linked to both crimes through DNA and forensic genealogy. The man, identified as Kenneth Day, was reportedly linked to the murder of 42-year-old Le Bich-Thuy last year using the same method.
The first rape occurred in 1977 when a woman was attacked at gunpoint in her home in Montgomery County and the second occurred in 1978 when a woman was abducted from a parking lot in Silver Spring. Both cases remained unsolved for decades until investigators could use DNA and forensic genealogy to identify Day as the suspect.
Montgomery County Police Department Chief Marcus Jones said, “Thanks to the tireless work of our detectives and the advances in forensic technology, we have finally been able to bring justice to these two victims and their families. While we know that this will not bring back what was taken from them, we hope this will bring peace and closure to all those affected.”
Day was reportedly a suspect in the cases when they occurred, but investigators were unable to gather enough evidence to charge him. He died in 2017 at the age of 52, and it was only through DNA and forensic genealogy that investigators could link him to the crimes.
DNA and forensic genealogy have become increasingly common in recent years as technology has advanced. The method involves using DNA evidence to create a family tree and then using that tree to identify potential suspects. The method was used to determine the Golden State Killer in California in 2018, and has since been used to solve numerous other cold cases nationwide.
Montgomery County Police Department detectives are reportedly continuing to investigate the cases and are asking anyone with information to come forward. “While we have identified the suspect in these cases, we know that there may be others out there who have information that could help us bring closure to these cases,” said Chief Jones. “We urge anyone with information to come forward and help us bring justice to these victims and their families.”