Chevy Chase

Suspect in Montgomery County cold case killing held without bond as chilling details emerge

Lauren Preer, the daughter of victim Leslie Preer and former girlfriend of suspect Eugene Gligor, was present in court on Monday

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The man accused in a horrific cold case murder in Montgomery County had his first court appearance Monday in Rockville.

Eugene Gligor is being held without bond. Prosecutors said he’s a frequent international traveler, and they see him as a flight risk.

Gligor was charged with killing Leslie Preer in her Chevy Chase home in 2001. Gligor was Leslie's daughter's former boyfriend. Police used DNA to identify him as a suspect. Gligor was arrested in D.C. and taken to Montgomery County to face the first-degree murder charge.

“Never in a million years did we think one of our people could hurt my mom like that,” said Lauren Preer.

Lauren Preer and Gligor dated as teens and in college before going their separate ways.

Investigators, using a unique DNA process, identified Gligor as the killer.

Lauren Preer was there for the court appearance with two friends.

“Both of these gentlemen with me were his friends as well,” Lauren Preer said. “They knew him as long as I knew him.”

Charging documents lay out a disturbing crime, signs of a violent struggle and a bloody crime scene.

Investigators found DNA from an unknown male. For decades, they could not able to figure out who it belonged to.

“An autopsy in this case indicated that the cause of death was blunt force trauma and strangulation,” said John McCarthy, the Montgomery County state’s attorney.

Detectives found Leslie’s body face-down in the master bathroom shower stall with numerous cuts to her head, but they determined she didn’t die in the shower.

Evidence showed the killer had attacked Leslie in the foyer of her home by bashing her head into the floor and then took her body upstairs into the shower and tried to wash away the blood.

“There was some evidence of cleanup in the house,” McCarthy said.

Blood evidence was found throughout the house, including DNA from the unknown male. Investigators also found DNA from that same unknown person under Leslie’s fingernails, but there were no matches in the system.

Years later through forensic genealogy DNA testing, they identified Gligor as a suspect. It came as a relief and shock to those who knew and loved Leslie.

One of Gligor’s previous neighbors had told police back in 2002 she suspected he may have been involved, according to court documents, but it wasn’t until the testing that detectives could put him in handcuffs.

Gligor had previous arrests but his DNA was never collected.

Earlier this month, detectives collected an empty water bottle Gligor had used and threw in the trash before a flight at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Investigators say the DNA from the water bottle showed Gligor was a positive match to the DNA found at the crime scene.

“Science doesn’t lie,” McCarthy said. “Technology doesn’t lie.”

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