DNA from chewing gum helps put killer away for life after police solve decades-old case of beloved teacher’s brutal rape, murder

A Pennsylvania DJ pleaded guilty to the 1992 murder and rape of a beautiful teacher on Tuesday after DNA from a public genealogy site helped solve the case. He was sentenced to life behind bars without parole.

According to NBC Philadelphia, Raymond Charles Rowe, who’s now 50-years-old, offered an apology at his sentencing hearing.

“I’m sorry, sir, to the family,” Rowe stated in court. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”

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As CrimeOnline previously reported, 25-year-old Christy Mirack, of Lancaster was brutally raped and murdered in her home on December 21, 1992. The school teacher, who taught at Rohrerstown Elementary School, had just put finishing touches on gifts she wrapped for her students. She planned to give each of her pupils a copy of the book, “Miracles on Maple Hill.”

Christy never made it to school the following day.

When the school’s principal, Harry Goodman, called to check on her, she didn’t answer. Goodman subsequently drove to the victim’s Greenfield Estates apartment, where he discovered her door slightly ajar. When he opened the door further, he saw the woman’s lifeless body lying in her living room. Her underwear and pants had been ripped off, and the gifts she had wrapped were strewn about the floor.

Officials said an autopsy showed the woman died after being beaten and strangled. Semen found on the carpet indicated Christy had been raped, though it would take years before detectives connected the dots to Rowe.

Authorities were baffled as to who would kill the beloved teacher, until DNA collected at the scene of the crime matched that of a woman who reportedly submitted her own DNA to “a publicly available genealogical database.”

The woman proved to be the half-sister of the suspected killer. The new information led them to Rowe, who was 24-years-old when the crime occurred. He lived off of East Chestnut Street, approximately four miles away from where Christy resided.


Raymond Rowe [Police Handout]
During the course of the probe, investigators gathered a piece of chewing gum and water bottle used by Rowe from a school he served at as a disc jockey for in 2018. The DNA proved to be a match to evidence recovered at Christy’s home.

“If not for the grace of modern technology and divine intervention, you probably would have stayed in Lancaster and basked in your fame,” Christy’s brother, Vince Mirack, reportedly told the former DJ at sentencing.

Prosecutors purportedly said it wasn’t known if Rowe knew Christy, or why she ended up being a victim in the heinous crime.

[Feature Photo: Christy Mirack/Handout]