JUST IN: Serial killer gets life in prison for 1987 Herndon murder

Fairfax County Courthouse (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A man already serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2002 has pleaded guilty to killing a woman in Herndon 35 years ago.

The Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney announced today that Charles Helem was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering 37-year-old Eige Sober-Adler, whose body was found in a field near the Dulles Toll Road on Sept. 8, 1987.

Helem is facing a third life sentence for the 2002 murder of 19-year-old Jennifer Landry in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He’s currently incarcerated at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison for strangling 37-year-old Patricia Bentley in her Chantilly home in April 2002.

“Today, the community can begin to move toward peace and closure,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement. “I am grateful for the cooperation across agencies and jurisdictions that helped solve this case, including from Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis, Prince George’s Police Chief Malik Aziz, and the cold case detectives in both jurisdictions.”

Helem was indicted in Sober-Adler’s murder by a Fairfax County grand jury in January after providing information about her death that only the suspect would know, Davis said at a joint press conference with Prince George’s police, who shared that Helem had confessed in 2021 to killing Landry.

According to The Washington Post, Sober-Adler was found nude and beaten by construction workers in a field near a Days Inn that was under construction in Herndon on Sept. 8, 1987. Her car was found nearby on the shoulder of the westbound lanes of the Dulles Toll Road.

An autopsy determined that her skull had been fractured, and she suffered a “cerebral hemorrhage caused by an unknown object,” the Post reported.

After his sentencing today, Helem is being transferred to Prince George’s County, where he’s set to plead guilty to Landry’s murder. He will serve all three life sentences concurrently, the Office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney confirmed to FFXnow.

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