JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A Maryland man who kidnapped a Pennsylvania girl and sexually abused her in West Virginia in a nearly 20-year-old cold case has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In addition to the 30-year prison sentence, Timothy Nelson Jr., 50, of Cumberland, Maryland was ordered to pay $5,000 assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act on his conviction of kidnapping and aggravated sexual abuse of a person under 12 years old, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office
The following paragraphs are based on information that was presented to the court
In September, 1999, Nelson kidnapped a 10-year-old girl from Carinbrook, Pennsylvania. Nelson abducted the girl after driving by her and two other girls, then exiting his car and asking them a question. As the 10-year-old girl began to answer him, Nelson grabbed her and placed her in his car. While driving away from the scene of the abduction, Nelson threatened the girl with a handgun by pointing it to her head.
Nelson then drove the girl to Route 26 in Preston County, West Virginia, where he stopped along the road and forced her to perform a sex act. Nelson then gave a the girl a paper bag and a napkin to clean herself off with. Nelson also cleaned himself off and tossed the bag out of the window.
Nelson then drove back in the direction of Markleysburg, Pennsylvania, and shortly after crossing the state line, he dropped the girl off on the side of the road. He then instructed her to count 100 and then proceed to a location to call her mother. The girl was then assisted by a person in a passing vehicle and law enforcement, including Pennsylvania State Police, responded to the scene.
The girl was then able to direct law enforcement to the scene of the sexual assault in Preston County, where law enforcement found the paper bag that Nelson had discarded out of the window. Law enforcement was able to get DNA samples and fingerprints from the bag and sent them to the FBI. The FBI Lab was successfully able to identify a DNA profile (other than that of the victim), but when compared to the FBI Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, no matches were found.
In April 2004, the DNA sample matched samples from two similar unsolved kidnapping cases from 1988 in the Hagerstown, Maryland area, but no suspects were identified.
Over the next few years, advancements were made to the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and the new fingerprint identification system called Next Generation Identification (NGI) system was invented.
In the fall of 2018 fingerprints were sent to the NGI and a match for Nelson’s fingerprints was found, eventually resulting in Nelson’s arrest. Nelson then pleaded guilty in July.