A West Virginia man who died in 2017 has been linked to two cold cases in Maryland.
The Montgomery County Department of Police identified Kenneth Earl Day of Upshur County as the man involved in a 1989 rape of a 52-year-old woman and the 1994 rape and killing of another woman, Le Bich-Thuy, 42, according to a press release.
Day died in March 2017 at the age of 52.
In the first case, on June 25, 1989, at approximately 10:15 p.m., a 52-year-old woman was walking on Lewis Avenue in Rockville, Maryland, when a man approached her from behind, assaulted her and raped her. DNA evidence was recovered, according to police.
In the second case, on October 3, 1994, Le Bich-Thuy’s body was found next to her home in the 1600 block of Martha Terrace in Rockville. The investigation by detectives revealed that Le had been assaulted, raped and then strangled. Investigators further determined that Le was last known to be alive at approximately 10:00 p.m. on September 28, 1994, as she left the Twinbrook Metro Station in Rockville. DNA evidence was recovered, according to police.
During the investigations, an analysis of the suspect DNA left at these two scenes determined that the same person committed both rapes and the murder, according to a press release. The culprit’s DNA was entered into a national DNA database, but there was no match. Despite extensive investigative efforts, these cases remained unsolved, police said.
In 2017, Cold Case detectives sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping, or the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence. Using the DNA left at these scenes, Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service produced what is referred to as a Snapshot composite depicting how the perpetrator in these cases may have looked and predicting his ancestry. In hopes of generating new leads in these cases, detectives released the composite to the public and hoped that someone would recognize him, according to a press release.
More recently, Parabon submitted a genetic data profile of the DNA to the publicly available genetic genealogy database, GEDmatch, in order to potentially find individuals who shared a significant amount of DNA with the unknown man.
Additional investigation, which included genealogy research, was then conducted by Cold Case investigators and led to the identification of Day as the suspect in these rapes and murder, according to a press release.
Police said they determined that Day died in 2017. Detectives obtained a sample of Day’s DNA taken from his autopsy. The Montgomery County Department of Police – Crime Laboratory processed Day’s DNA and determined that it was a positive match to the DNA profile taken as evidence from both crime scenes, according to a press release.
At this time, the Cold Case Section continues to investigate Day’s possible involvement in other unsolved crimes.
Anyone with information about Kenneth Earl Day is asked to call the Montgomery County Department of Police – Major Crimes Division, Cold Case Section at 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.
Prior known addresses for Kenneth Earl Day with approximate dates:
- 1988: 100 block of Willowdale Drive, Frederick, MD 21702
- 1989: 500 block of Beall Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850
- 1990: Unit block of Whetstone Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
- 1990-1991: 20000 block of Frederick Road, Germantown, MD 20876
- 1992: 11700 block of Zebrawood Court, Germantown, MD 20876
- 1993-1994: 12300 block of Selfridge Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906
- 1994: 2000 block of Baltimore Road, Rockville, MD 20851
- 1997-1999: 14400 block of Belvedere Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22193
- 2002-2004: 11800 block of Renner Road, Keymar, MD 21757
- Late 2000s: 10300 block of Mumma Ford Road, Rocky Ridge, MD 21778
- Late 2000s: Unit block of Heavner Grove Road, Buckhannon, WV 26201