'DJ Freez' Arrested As DNA From Gum & Bottle Links Him To 1992 Rape-Murder
A relative of Raymond Rowe uploaded DNA to GEDmatch — the same site led to the arrest of Golden State Killer suspect Joseph DeAngelo — & they got a match.
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA — Using DNA crime scene evidence obtained from chewing gum and a water bottle, Pennsylvania police have arrested a popular wedding disc jockey for the cold case 1992 rape and murder of a beloved local teacher.
Raymond Rowe, 49, who has built a successful entertainment business as “DJ Freez” was charged on Monday with criminal homicide in the 1992 sexual assault and slaying of Christy Mirack, 25. The victim had been a sixth-grade teacher at Rohrerstown Elementary School.
Concerned after Mirack didn’t show up for work or call in sick on December 21, 1992, the principal from her school dropped by Mirack's apartment to see if she was okay. She was not.
Mirack lay dead on the floor. An obvious struggle had taken place. She had been sexually violated, beaten bloody, and strangled to death. Her clothes were torn off or pushed up, her jaw was fractured, and she suffered blunt-force trauma all over her body.
District Attorney Craig Stedman, further described the scene's horror by noting: “She had her jacket on, her gloves on. She was assaulted almost instantly at the doorway.”
Using the technology available at the time, authorities created a DNA profile of the suspect and put it into a database, but it never matched any perpetrators — until now.
After a relative of Raymond Rowe uploaded DNA to the genealogy website GEDmatch — the same site also led to the recent high-profile arrest of Golden State Killersuspect Joseph James DeAngelo — investigators got a match.
From there, police staked out Rowe while he performed as DJ Freez at a grade-school event. Officers were able to snag a piece gum that Rowe had chewed and a water bottle from which he drank.
Technicians from Parabon Nanolabs then linked that DNA to the semen left at the crime scene. DA Stedman expressed gratitude to the DNA analysis firm, stating: "We were not close to making an arrest; we didn't even have a direction to go until Parabon pointed us in the right path."
In summing up the tragedy of Mirack's killer potentially having eluded justice for 26 years, Stedman added: "He's been free longer than she lived her entire life. It's so disturbing. You have a truly innocent victim. Her entire life was ahead of her.... This is not done until we convict him of first-degree murder."
Under the guise of DJ Freez, Rowe became an well-known and in-demand disc jockey for weddings, parties, and other occasions throughout central Pennsylvania.
If convicted for raping and killing Christy Mirack, he could now face the death penalty.