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Posted on: November 19, 2020

Grant from Department of Justice to help in Solving Violent Cold Cases in Prince George’s County

UPPER MARLBORO, MD –Today, State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced that her office has received a $470,000 grant from the Department of Justice that will allow the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO), the Prince George’s County Police Department and other municipal police departments move forward in solving cold cases.  Her office is one of only 10 prosecutors’ offices in the country to receive this important funding.  

Through the grant the police department’s DNA lab will provide samples of DNA evidence to companies that utilize forensic genetic genealogy processes to develop leads in identifying possible suspects. “This is a process that holds great promise for achieving justice and bringing closure for victims of cold case crimes and their loved ones,” said State’s Attorney Braveboy. “It’s important for the community to know we never stop working to solve these cases and to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

Currently, there are approximately 600 serious violent crimes in Prince George’s County with unmatched suspect DNA. Of those cases 120 are murders and 360 are sexual assaults. (The remainder are other serious violent crimes such as robberies, first degree assaults, attempted murders and carjackings.  The grant only applies to cold case murders and sex offenses.) The DNA from the cases in question has already been entered into a national database with no matches reported.

A number of cases have been identified that could be reopened and processed using the grant funding including the following: 

  • In July of 1991 Regina Williams was found dead in her apartment after her family was unable to contact her. It was later determined at her autopsy that she suffered from a stab wound to her upper body. Evidence collected from a sexual assault kit was sent to a national database, but no match was found.
  • Another case we have identified is from January of 2007 a body was found in the woods in the park near Birchleaf Avenue and Seat Pleasant Drive, Seat Pleasant, MD. Investigators made arrests and obtained convictions in this homicide, but they were never able to identify the victim.  All conventional methods to identify the victim have failed. 

The DNA samples must be significant enough to stand a chance of successfully yielding a suspect.  The SAO’s cold case unit is working to identify cases.  The money from the grant will be provided to the SAO over the next 3 years.  

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Contact: Denise Douglas | Phone: 240-623-4642 | Email: dadouglas@co.pg.md.us

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