1998 sexual assault cold case solved with blood sample from suspect’s autopsy

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The suspect died in 2014, but his fingerprint and blood sample matched DNA collected in 1998

Photos courtesy Fairfax County Police Department

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA (WDVM) — Police officials said their cold case team has solved a 1998 sexual assault case by matching a blood sample collected from the suspect’s autopsy with DNA from the scene.

On Aug. 17, 1998, a man posing as an exterminator forced entry to a 32-year-old woman’s apartment and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. This happened in the 7200 block of Parkwood Court in Falls Church, Virginia, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. The victim was able to break free from the suspect and escaped by jumping from her second-story balcony.

Although police said they entered the DNA and fingerprints into a nationwide database at the time, no match came up. In 2019, detectives from the Major Crimes Bureau’s Cold Case Squad resubmitted the evidence collected in 1998.

There was a match.

Police said there was a fingerprint match with Juan Johnson, who died in 2014 at age 48. For further confirmation, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science examined Johnson’s blood sample, which was on file in Baltimore, Maryland from his autopsy. It also matched the DNA evidence.

“I am proud of the work of the Cold Case detectives and all members of the FCPD detective bureau for how caring and committed they are to seek closure for the victims involved in these important cases,” Maj. Ed O’Carroll, bureau commander of major crimes said in a news release.

Detectives also matched Johnson’s DNA with a similar case in Arlington County a week before the Aug. 17 incident.

Anyone with information regarding other cases involving Juan Johnson is asked to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 8. 

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