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Man arrested in woman's 1986 cold case murder, linked to 2nd murder from 1989: Virginia authorities

Man arrested in woman's 1986 cold case murder, linked to 2nd murder from 1989: Virginia authorities

A man has been arrested in connection with a Virginia woman's 1986 cold case murder, and authorities say DNA evidence also links him to a second murder from the '80s.

Jacqueline Lard, 32, was last seen at her job, Mount Vernon Realty, on the night of Nov. 14, 1986, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said.

The next morning, evidence of a "horrific struggle" was found at the realty office, the sheriff's office said.

On Nov. 16, 1986, Lard's body was recovered in a wooded area under a pile of discarded carpet, authorities said. One month later, Lard's car was found abandoned in Fairfax County, authorities said.

PHOTO: An undated photo of Jacqueline Lard, 32, who was killed on Nov. 14, 1986. (Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)
PHOTO: An undated photo of Jacqueline Lard, 32, who was killed on Nov. 14, 1986. (Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

DNA evidence was collected, but authorities couldn't connect the DNA to a suspect, authorities said.

The case turned cold, but the sheriff's office said DNA did eventually link Lard's slaying to another murder in Virginia: the death of 18-year-old Amy Baker.

On the night of March 29, 1989, Baker went missing after leaving a relative's house in Falls Church, according to Fairfax County police.

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The teen's car was found that night on the side of Interstate 95, and two days later, her body was found in a wooded area off the interstate, police said.

Decades after both murders, on Dec. 14, 2023, "a family name for the suspect was identified," the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said.

"Detectives followed up on the leads this technology created and ultimately obtained a search warrant for DNA from Stafford County resident Elroy Harrison," the sheriff's office said.

PHOTO: Elroy Harrison was arrested in March 2024 for the 1986 murder of Jacqueline Lard. (Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)
PHOTO: Elroy Harrison was arrested in March 2024 for the 1986 murder of Jacqueline Lard. (Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

Last month, the DNA from evidence was determined to be a match to 65-year-old Harrison, the sheriff's office said.

On Monday, Harrison was indicted on charges including first-degree murder in connection with Lard's death, the sheriff's office said.

He was arrested at his Stafford County home on Tuesday and is being held without bond, the sheriff's office said.

Fairfax County police and prosecutors are now working to seek charges against Harrison for Baker's murder, the sheriff's office said.

Man arrested in woman's 1986 cold case murder, linked to 2nd murder from 1989: Virginia authorities originally appeared on abcnews.go.com