With the help of a Reston-based company that specializes in DNA technology, local police have new leads on the 2006 murders of two elderly Springfield women.
Marion Marshall and Marion Newman, who were both in their 70s and lived just two miles apart from each other, were killed in separate incidents. Autopsy results list their cause of death as strangulation and blunt force trauma. DNA evidence collected from the scene indicated both women were sexually assaulted and that the same offender was responsible for both murders, according to police.
After the case turned cold, detectives turned to Parabon NanoLabs, which specializes in DNA phenotypic and genetic genealogy analysis, to develop composite sketches of the suspect. Police previously ran DNA samples gathered from the scene across a nationwide database of samples, but failed to find any leads. Parabon uses its technologies to predict physical appearance and biological relationships from unidentified DNA evidence.
The company provided three sketches based on what the suspect may look like at the age of 25, 40 and 55.
“We are committing countless hours and all available resources to close these cases and provide long-awaited answers to victim’s families – and bring those who committed these awful crimes to justice. I am extremely thankful for our dedicated detective bureau and victim services staff for all they do in seeking closure.”
Marshall was last seen visiting a grocery store on the morning of Aug. 14, 2006. Police believe that the murderer approached her as she unloaded groceries at her home on the 6600 block of Bostwick Drive. She was found dead by a friend later that evening, according to police.
Newman was found dead by a friend inside her home on Nov. 21, 2006 after she visited her mother at a senior living community in Springfield.
Detectives urge anyone with information about the crimes to call the major crimes bureau at 703-246-7800 or submit an anonymous tip online or by texting “TIP187” to 274637.
Photo via FCPD