Montgomery County Police have arrested a suspect in several cold cases of sexual assault that date back to 2007, thanks in part to a private Virginia company that helped match DNA samples.
On Thursday, Police arrested and charged Marlon Michael Alexander, 39, on three counts of first-degree rape, for four separate incidents which occurred between 2007 and 2011.
According to police, Alexander, a resident of Germantown, repeatedly broke into women’s homes and raped or attempted to sexually assault them. The first case occurred in 2007, when police said Alexander broke into a 25-year-old woman’s home in Gaithersburg and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t perform a sexual act, but she was able to flee.
The second incident was in 2010, when police said Alexander broke into a 68-year-old woman’s home in Germantown and raped her. In the third incident, police said, Alexander threatened an 86-year-old woman with a pair of scissors as he raped her. The fourth incident police charged him with was in 2011, when he raped the same 68-year-old woman again, according to police.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said it’s possible that more charges for Alexander could follow, as detectives continue to investigate other unsolved rapes and sexual offenses.
“Detectives believe that it is possible that Mr. Alexander committed additional sexual assaults, and we continue to examine similar unsolved rapes that occurred in the County,” Manger said.
For years, the reported rapes and sexual assaults were cold cases, but three weeks ago police received names of relatives of the suspect, which matched the DNA they found at each of the crime scenes. That eventually led them to Alexander. Police then obtained a search warrant for Alexander’s DNA and after it matched the DNA found at the crime scene, they obtained a warrant for his arrest.
The case is among the first instances in the County of police using DNA held by a private company to help them solve a cold case. Parabon NanoLabs Inc., a DNA technology company located in Herndon, Virginia, assisted Montgomery County Police with the case.
Manger said police reached out to Parabon and provided them with DNA samples they had found at the crime scenes. Parabon then was able to match the DNA from the crime scenes with likely relatives of the suspect using the DNA police found at the crime scenes. Parabon then provided police with a list of possible relatives.
Police contacted a name of one of the individuals whose names Parabon had provided them; that person told police they had a distant relative living in Montgomery County, who detectives eventually discovered to be Alexander.
“That DNA sample that was provided by Mr. Alexander, was committed to our crime lab for analysis,” Manger said. “It found that, that DNA, after it was analyzed, matched the four DNA samples that were left by the suspect in those four cases.”
Alexander is being held without bond and will have a bond review hearing on Monday.