by: Fareeha Rehman
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — An arrest was made for a 1990s serial killer and rapist cold case, authorities announced Thursday. The suspect is known as the “Potomac River Rapist” and attacked at least 10 women between 1991 and 1998, according to Washington DC Police.
DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said Giles Warrick, 60, was arrested on Nov. 13 and will be extradited to DC and charged with first-degree murder and face additional charges related to sexual assaults.
Montgomery County Police Department said the Potomac River Rapist would cut the phone lines, force entry into homes, cover the victim’s heads and sexually assault them.
Newsham said forensic evidence led authorities to suspect Giles Warrick. Now age 60, Warrick was denied bond in Conway, South Carolina, officials at J. Reuben Long Detention Center confirmed to WBTW on Thursday.
The arrest and charges were announced in a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon with the DC Police, Montgomery County Police Department (Maryland) and the FBI.
Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones attributes the arrest to the help of new evidence and genetic testing capabilities. “This has been an opportunity for us to solve these heinous crimes and for our community now to feel much safer and to bring some comfort to the families of victims,” Jones said during the press conference. The suspect is linked through DNA to six cases in Montgomery County, Jones added.
The Montgomery County Police Department is asking any victims of sexual assault who were in the area over the past 30 years to come forward in case there is any connection to the Potomac River Rapist, Jones said.
Montgomery County Police Department Detective Todd Williams said on the FBI’s website that the suspect began stalking, hunting and sexually assaulting women over 20 years ago. Williams is also part of a Potomac River Rapist Task Force, according to the FBI.
“The suspect is generally described as an African-American male of medium build who is currently believed to be in his 40s or 50s,” FBI Special Agent Erin Sheridan said in 2011.
The FBI says the Potomac River Rapist was attacking women in the Washington DC area, some who were attacked in their homes. According to the FBI, seven of the nine attacks were linked by DNA while all the attacks are linked by similarities in the violent methods.
The rapist’s last known victim is identified by the FBI as Christine Mirzayan, who was 29 years old in 1998 when she was raped and killed sometime after she began walking home in Washington, DC. She was a Congressional fellow. The FBI says her killer had previously attacked eight other women from 1991.
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