Police: Prisoner with life sentence confesses to 1987 Herndon murder

Eige Sober-Adler (Via Fairfax County Police Department)

Police said today (Wednesday) a man in prison in Wise County, Virginia, has confessed to two more murders.

Fairfax County Police Department said Charles W. Helem, 52, confessed to the 1987 murder and provided details only the killer would know, involving the death of 37-year-old Eige Sober-Adler.

A grand jury indicted Helem yesterday (Tuesday), Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said.

“We will now pursue a vigorous prosecution of Mr. Helem,” Descano said.

Sober-Adler was found deceased in a field to the rear of a Days Inn on Centreville Road in Herndon, and her vehicle was found on the Dulles Toll Road at the time.

“Thirty five years later, we stand before the community to say we have an indictment,” FCPD Major Ed O’Carroll said.

Her car was found in running condition and appeared to be abandoned, he said.

“There will probably always be some questions that are unanswered,” O’Carroll said.

Police also announced that Helem, who is an inmate at Red Onion State Prison, confessed to another murder in Maryland in 2002, involving 19-year-old Jennifer Landry, of Massachusetts.

Prince George’s County Chief of Police Malik Aziz said Helem sent letters to law enforcement in 2010 and 2017, indicating he had information on the case, but he initially declined to talk to detectives.

Eventually, he verbally confessed in 2021 to killing Landry and also spoke about an unsolved Fairfax County case, which led to yesterday’s indictment, Aziz said.

Detectives confronted him in prison.

Previously, a jury convicted Helem for the 2002 murder of 37-year-old Patricia Bentley of Fairfax County. An appeal court upheld the conviction in 2008.

Chief Kevin Davis said they’re working to determine if he was involved in other cases.

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