FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Advancements in forensic science led to the arrest of a suspect in a sexual assault case in Fairfax County, 34 years after the incident took place.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, 61-year-old George Thomas, Jr. of Arlington was arrested on Monday, 21 and charged with two counts of rape, sodomy and abduction in connection to a sexual assault that took place on Aug. 24, 1988.
Police said Thomas and his brother — Gregory Allen Thomas, who died in 2009 — abducted a 22-year-old woman as she left her job at Skyline Mall on the 5100 block of Leesburg Pike. The victim was forced into her car by the two men and forced to drive to a secluded location where they raped her. They then forced the woman to drive to another location where they raped her again.
After the second assault, the woman was able to escape to her car and drove away. Fairfax Police responded that evening and collected forensic evidence. A DNA profile was developed and submitted to the National DNA databank, the victim also provided details to police that were used to make a composite sketch of one of the men.
Detectives continued investigating the assault over the years, receiving numerous tips and following up on every lead but did not make any arrests until a FCPD fingerprint examiner identified fingerprints found in the victim’s car as belonging to the two brothers. DNA analysis then confirmed that the two men were involved in the sexual assault.
On Monday, United States Marshals Service deputies and Metro Transit Police arrested George Thomas, Jr. in Maryland. He is being held at the Adult Detention Center without bond.
“Advancements in technology allow us to revisit cases decades old with the resources at our disposal. No matter the time that has passed, our detectives and professional staff will always fight for answers, resolution, and some measure of justice for those effected by these crimes,” Major Ed O’Carroll of Fairfax Police’s Cyber and Forensics Bureau.