LANCASTER — Raymond Rowe, 50, stood before a a judge in Lancaster County this morning and admitted he raped, strangled and killed 25-year-old schoolteacher and Coal Township native Christy Mirack in her Greenfield Estates townhouse in East Lampeter Township the morning of Dec. 21, 1992, Lancaster Online (LNP) reported.
Homicide investigators developed Rowe as a suspect last year only after crime scene DNA matched DNA that one of Rowe’s relatives uploaded to a public genealogy database.
Without that hit, Rowe would likely have gotten away with murder.
“To the Mirack family, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I apologize,” Rowe said after turning to face the victim’s father, brother and sister, Lancaster Online reported.
Rowe pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, rape and burglary in a negotiated plea agreement that dropped a potential death sentence, according to LNP. Instead, President Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced Rowe to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
Mirack was a 1985 graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School and a daughter of Vincent Mirack, of Coal Township, and the late Geraldine “Gerry” Mirack. She graduated from Millersville University with a degree in elementary education and began substitute teaching at Rohrerstown Elementary School in East Lampeter Township and later became a full-time teacher at the school. Her failure to show up for work on Dec. 21, 1992, is what led to the discovery of her body.