DNA helps create sketch of suspect in VB sexual assault cold case


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Have you seen this man?

Virginia Beach Police are looking for a suspect in a sexual assault cold case who looks similar to a newly constructed sketch.

“It’s our hope that somebody will recognize this person of interest even if they have a gut feeling, if there’s something they recall from this timeframe — March of 2012 — we want to be contacted,” said Virginia Beach Detective Lanis Geluso.

Police say back on March 3, 2012, a mother of three was walking home in the early morning after dropping one of her children off at school when tragedy struck.

Officials say she was attacked and sexually assaulted at gunpoint. 

The suspect forced her into a nearby yard and tried to sexually assault her, but a neighbor heard her cry for help and intervened.

“Her and her family are in tact, they are still in the area, strong ties to Virginia Beach. They’ve been very thankful, they’ve just been very amazing and ready to have some answers and justice served,” explained Geluso.

DNA found at the scene was sent to the National DNA Data Base, but there was never any matches, so after awhile the case went cold. 

With all leads exhausted, Geluso decided to try one last thing.

“We were able to send it off to Parabon for analysis,” she said.

Parabon Nanolabs used the DNA from police to create the sketch of the suspect.

A representative wth the company says their composites very strongly resemble the person. 

“We’ve done lots of blind evaluations where we don’t know the appearance of the person and then make a prediction, then are told what the actual persons appearance was. In all of those cases, we’ve produced a composite that very strongly resembled the person, and you can especially see that in the cases we’ve helped solve, said Ellen Graytak, director of bioinformatics with Parabon. 

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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