Two brothers are accused of kidnapping and raping a 22-year-old woman as she left work in August of 1988.
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — An Arlington man has been arrested in connection to a 1988 rape case. He and his brother are accused of kidnapping and raping a 22-year-old woman as she left work at Skyline Mall on Leesburg Pike.
Fairfax County Police say George Thomas Jr. is charged with two counts of rape, sodomy and abduction for a sexual assault that happened at 10:40 pm on August 24, 1988.
Investigators say George Thomas Jr. and the late Gregory Allen Thomas of Arlington approached the 22-year-old woman as she left work, attacked her and forced her to get in her car and drive to a secluded wooded area.
Once there, investigators say the two men raped her. Police say the two men then forced her to drive to another location, and raped her again.
“It is a horrible, tragic and profoundly horrifying series of a events” said Fairfax County Police Major Ed O’Carroll during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
Fairfax County Police say the woman was able to escape in her car and call police.
Major O’Carroll say they recovered an “abundant amount of forensic evidence” from the scene, including fingerprints from her car.
The victim was also able to provide investigators details about one of her attackers and shortly after, police put out a composite sketch of a possible suspect.
Despite the heaps of forensic evidence submitted to local and national data banks over the decades, a produced sketch and the “many tips that were followed up on,” according to police, an arrest was never made.
However, the case was also never forgotten and hope for a development was not lost.
“As the years passed the FCPD never forgot about this case” said Major O’Carroll
In 2020 they got a break in the case. Investigators say a FCPD fingerprint examiner identified fingerprints found in the victim’s vehicle to new arrest records on file in Alexandria.
Investigators say one of the fingerprints was linked to Gregory Allen Thomas, who died in 2009. Police would not elaborate on how he died.
Police say a second fingerprint recovered from the vehicle, belonged to his brother, George Thomas Jr.
FCPD says detectives obtained Gregory Allen Thomas’ blood card from the medical examiner and says DNA analysis confirmed Gregory Allen Thomas was involved in the 1988 sexual assault.
Investigators say that is when they discovered he had an older brother, George Thomas Jr.
“He might have smoked his last cigar and they’re not giving cigars out at the jail” said Major O’Carroll when asked how they obtained the older brother’s DNA.
“We witnessed him discard something, we collected it, did forensics evidence. If it wasn’t a match we would have moved on. It was a match. He raped our victim in 1988” said Major O’Carroll.
On Monday, deputies with the United States Marshals Service and Metro Transit Police arrested George Thomas Jr. at the Friendship Heights Metro station in Maryland.
“We did interview him. He made no statement to us that he was involved. Made a claim that he had no idea what we were talking about. I beg to differ. My detectives beg to differ. The evidence is abundant and clear” said Major O’Carroll.
Police say he’s charged with two counts of rape, one count of sodomy and one count of abduction.
“To our survivor, I’m sorry you endured this vicious crime so many years ago” said Major O’Carroll on Tuesday. He says they never lost hope in finding her justice.
“Advancements in technology allow us to revisit cases decades old with the resources at our disposal. No matter the time that has passed, our detectives and professional staff will always fight for answers, resolution, and some measure of justice for those effected by these crimes” said Major O’Carroll.
“You live these cases with the victim for years and years” said now retired, FCPD Detective Dick Cline.
“It does give you a sense of resolve to finally have some closure for this victim” said Cline.
Fairfax County Police say the two men may have been involved in other cases in the Northern Virginia area, and ask anyone with information to come forward.
“You will be believed” said Major O’Carroll.
Anyone looking to report a similar offense can call 703-246-7800, option 8.
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