Raymond Rowe, the ex-DJ accused in Christy Mirack murder case, waives preliminary hearing
LANCASTER — Raymond Rowe, the Lancaster disc jockey accused of murdering Rohrerstown Elementary School teacher Christy Mirack in her apartment nearly 26 years ago, was ordered to stand trial after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing and allowing all charges to proceed in Lancaster County Court, documents show.
A formal arraignment has been scheduled for Aug. 24, court documents say.
Rowe, 48, known professionally as “DJ Freez,” was arrested last month after DNA evidence collected from the crime scene came close to that of a relative who had shared their DNA profile on a public genetic genealogy website.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office charged Rowe with criminal homicide, three counts of rape by forcible compulsion, two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and one count of burglary.
Mirack, 25, was found in her apartment by a principal at Rohrerstown Elementary School, who went to her East Lampeter Township home to check on her when she didn’t show up for work on Dec. 21, 1992. Mirack had been beaten, strangled, and sexually assaulted.
Her murder when unsolved for almost 26 years before investigators partnered with Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA analysis firm in Virginia. The firm phenotyped DNA evidence from the crime scene and released three composite sketches of what the potential suspect would look like at age 25, 45, and 55.
In May, officials at Parabon NanoLabs shared a new tool with authorities: Genetic Genealogy analysis. Through a database called GEDMatch, officials added DNA from the crime scene in an attempt to build a family tree.
A distant relative of Rowe made their DNA publicly available on GEDMatch, investigators say, and a concluding analysis by Parabon NanoLabs named Rowe a “strong viable suspect” after a “significant match” to the crime scene DNA was found on GEDmatch.
Police then collected a DNA sample from Rowe by sending undercover officers to an event where he was working as a DJ, taking gum and a water bottle Rowe was seen using. Tests revealed Rowe’s DNA matched the samples taken from the crime scene.