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Genealogy database, gum help convict DJ in ’92 killing

LANCASTER, Pa. — A popular Pennsylvania DJ has pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a schoolteacher in 1992 after being identified as a suspect as a result of DNA a relative submitted to a genealogy database.

Raymond Charles Rowe apologized in court Tuesday for killing 25-year-old elementary school teacher Christy Mirack at her apartment in Lancaster. He was sentenced to life without parole.

The case had stymied investigators until authorities used a genealogical database to identify a half-sister of the then-unknown suspect, leading them to the 50-year-old Rowe, who lived just miles from where the murder occurred.

Undercover detectives obtained DNA from Rowe by collecting his used water bottle and chewing gum at a school where he was DJing last year. It matched DNA found at the murder scene.