, 2021-09-09 02:00:00,
When Christy Mirack didn’t show up to teach her sixth-grade class a few days before Christmas, her boss, Harry Goodman, immediately knew something was wrong.
Goodman, then the principal at Rohrerstown Elementary School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, hopped in his car and headed toward the young teacher’s apartment, hoping he would spot her changing a flat tire on the side of the road.
When he arrived at Mirack’s home on the morning of December 21, 1992, he discovered a gruesome scene: the 25-year-old teacher had been raped, beaten and strangled to death.
Police worked around the clock to unravel the mystery of Mirack’s violent death. But, for 26 years, the case remained unsolved, which only deepened the feelings of grief and loss among Mirack’s devoted family members, friends and colleagues.
“I never stopped thinking of Christy,” Goodman tells A&E True Crime.
After years of dead ends and disappointment, investigators got a break in the case when they learned about a novel, crime-solving DNA technique called genetic genealogy that was still in its infancy. The investigative technique uses family links in public genealogy databases to identify an unknown suspect.
In 2019, they used this cutting-edge tool to track down Mirack’s killer—a local DJ named Raymond Charles Rowe—and bring a small amount of peace to her family and friends.
The Christy Mirack Case Goes Cold
Though investigators eventually succeeded in prosecuting Mirack’s murderer, the journey to justice was a long and complicated one.
When Goodman found Mirack’s body on that cold December morning in 1992, she was wearing a coat and gloves, which led police to believe she had been getting ready for work. They found a wooden cutting board next to her body, which they believed someone had used to violently attack her. Those clues suggested the killer had been emotional and disorganized.
Police were also struck by the sheer brazenness of the crime, which had occurred during daylight hours within a roughly 45-minute window between when Mirack’s roommate left for work at 7…
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