cold case

Man Charged in 1987 Attack on 14-Year-Old Lured to Fairfax Radio Station

Police said William Clark called the 14-year-old's mother and identified himself as a popular radio host

Fairfax County police arrested and charged an Ashburn, Virginia, man with the 1987 abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.

William Clark, 59, was charged for the alleged crime that began outside a radio station. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

The arrest 35 years after the assault was made possible through advancements in DNA and genealogy research technology, Maj. Ed O'Carroll, bureau chief of the Fairfax County Police Department's major crimes division, said at a news conference Wednesday.

Clark was identified as a person of interest in January with the help of the technology, O'Carroll said. After receiving confirmation that a DNA sample collected from Clark in February matched evidence from 1987, police arrested him Monday.

"It's a testament to modern technology, very specifically, genetic genealogy research, the latest, greatest iteration of DNA analysis that allows us to solve cases like this," said Police Chief Kevin Davis.

Police said Clark had called the 14-year-old's mother at her workplace, identifying himself as a popular DJ radio host. He told the girl's mother that if she was listening to the radio station, she would be eligible to win $1,000 and a trip to Hawaii.

To claim the prizes, the girl's mother provided her home phone number. Clark, who was a 24-year-old Herndon resident at the time, then called the number and spoke to the 14-year-old girl, luring her to a radio station in the city of Fairfax.

"That was a popular radio trend back in the '80s that generated listeners, and it's a way to give away prizes," O'Carroll said.

Police said the call was a ruse and Clark had no connection with the radio station or radio industry.

When the teen arrived to the radio station, police said Clark enticed her into his vehicle with the promise of prizes. He then allegedly drove out to a wooded area, where he sexually assaulted her and implied he had a firearm.

Clark drove away, and the victim immediately reported the incident, police said.

Detectives looked at over 70 suspects over the years, police said.

Clark was charged with rape, abduction with the intention to defile and attempted forcible sodomy. He is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Detention Center.

Davis promised consequences for attackers.

"There is no end game for people who commit crimes like this in our community," he said. "There is no safe place for them. There is no moment where they shouldn't be looking over their shoulders."

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