Here’s how investigators linked Raymond Rowe to 1992 murder, rape of Christy Mirack

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. --   Investigators collected DNA from Christy Mirack's body 26 years ago.

Up until recently, they couldn't match that DNA with a suspect.

Now, they hope other law enforcement agencies will turn to DNA to solve other crimes because it's been so helpful in solving the Mirack case.

"He is a rapist, and he's a murderer, and a burglar, and he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail," said Craig Stedman, the Lancaster County District Attorney.

That man is 50-year-old Raymond Rowe, known by many people in the community as  'Dj Freez'.

Rowe plead guilty in court Tuesday to the 1992 murder and rape of Christy Mirack.

It's been more than two unsettling decades for investigators who hoped for a breakthrough.

"As things go colder, it gets harder and harder to solve. As decades gets on, it gets harder and harder to solve, and that makes it more incredible we were able to do this," explained Stedman.

Stedman attributing much of that success to cutting edge genetic science.

Authorities worked with Parabon Nanolabs, a DNA technology company, that analyzed the DNA found on Mirack's body.

They say all signs pointed them in Rowe's direction.

"Think about the DNA coming back, from all the people in the world, it's coming back to a guy who lived four miles away from Mirack at the time," explained Stedman.

Investigators shared  a map which showed the route Rowe would take to work; they say Rowe would drive right by Mirack's house in East Lampeter Township.

A second map showed where witnesses say someone parked a white coupe on the morning of the murder.

"Here is her apartment building right here, her parking for then would be here, but her door was on the side, this right here along this curb, along William Penn Way, is where the white Toyota was parked on the curb, facing the wrong direction, between 6-7 am, we can presume he was staking it out," said Stedman.

There's more evidence: a ticket in Mirack's wallet to the Chameleon Club, where Rowe worked at the time.

Ultimately, though, it was a water bottle and a piece of gum that connected investigators to Rowe.

Undercover officers took those items from the trash at Smoketown Elementary, where Rowe played music at a school function.

The DNA found so closely matched the DNA found at the crime scene.

Officials say it was "astronomical" statistics and odds that anyone other than Rowe murdered Christy Mirack.

"I hope this spurs on some prosecutors somewhere I never met to take a second look at a case sitting in their back office somewhere, and say, "hey, maybe we can solve it this way,'" added Stedman.

Investigators say the same DNA technology used to prove it was Rowe was used to eliminate other suspects.

The Lancaster County District Attorney says his office is the third agency in the country to solve a case this way.