FAIRFAX, VA— Fairfax County Police arrested 59-year-old William Clark of Ashburn in connection with the 1987 abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl from outside a Fairfax City radio station.
“There is no end game for people who commit crimes like this in our community,” said Police Chief Kevin Davis, during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Maj. Ed O’Carroll, chief of FCPD’s Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics Bureau, explained that new DNA technology helped police identify Clark, as the suspect in the case. After receiving a positive identification from a DNA sample obtained in February, police arrested Clark on Monday.
“It’s a testament to modern technology, very specifically, genetic genealogy research, the latest greatest iteration of DNA analysis that allows us to solve cases like this,” Davis said.
Police say that in 1987 Clark called the victim’s mother at her place of work, identifying himself as a local radio personality. He convinced the victim’s mother that if the victim came to a radio station in Fairfax City, she would be eligible to win $1,000 and a trip to Hawaii.
“That was a popular radio trend back in the ’80s that generated listeners and it’s a way to fit away prizes,” O’Carroll said.
Police say that the call was a ruse and Clark had no connection with the radio station or the radio industry.
The victim’s mother shared her home number and contact information with Clark who was 24-year-old Herndon resident at the time of the assault. He later called the teenage victim at her home and convinced her to meet at the radio station on March 6, 1987.
“The victim arrived at the radio station and was enticed into Clark’s vehicle with the promise of prizes,” O’Carroll said.
Clark then drove the victim to a wooded area in Fairfax County and sexually assaulted her. During the assault, Clark implied that he had a firearm. Afterwards, the victim immediately reported the incident to police.
DNA evidence collected by Fairfax County in 1987 and preserved for more than three decades was used to identify Clark as a strong person of interest on Jan. 3.
“Using this new technology in mid-February, our detectives required a DNA sample from Clark, and we sent it to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science,” O’Carroll said. “The DNA sample that we collected matched the DNA evidence collected in 1987.”
Clark was charged on Monday with rape, abduction with intention to defile and attempted forcible sodomy. He is currently being held without bond in the Fairfax Count Adult Detention Center.
During the news conference, Davis held up a wanted poster with a sketch of and details about the man wanted in the 1987 assault.
“Here we are over 35 years later, 3 1/2 decades later, now saying that justice has been visited upon the perpetrator who committed this vicious, vicious crime on a 14-year-old girl,” Davis said.
FCPD’s Victim Services Team will continue to work with the victim, who no longer the area.
“This case happened a long time ago, but there may be more survivors out there,” O’Carroll said. “So call us if you have information about this case or you think years or decades ago you ran into this offender. We want to hear from you.”
The Major Crimes team can be contacted by calling 703-246 7800, option eight.
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