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Man Arrested Over 1986 Cold Case Murder of Virginia Woman Has Been Linked to Second Murder

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that 65-year-old Elroy Harrison was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder of Jacqueline Lard

<p>Office of Stafford County Sheriff Facebook (2)</p> Jacqueline Lard; Detective D.K. Wood escorting Elroy Harrison after his arrest

Office of Stafford County Sheriff Facebook (2)

Jacqueline Lard; Detective D.K. Wood escorting Elroy Harrison after his arrest

A Virginia man has been arrested in connection to a 1986 cold case murder, and DNA has also linked him to another murder from the '80s, police revealed on Tuesday.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office shared this week that a suspect has been arrested in the murder of Jacqueline Lard — a 40-year-old woman who was discovered underneath a discarded carpet in a wooded area in Woodbridge on Nov. 16, 1986. Using DNA evidence, the same suspect has also been linked to the 1989 murder of Amy Baker — another local woman who was discovered dead in a wooded area, police announced. Harrison has not been charged in relation to Baker's murder.

Elroy Harrison, 65, was indicted by a Stafford County Grand Jury on Monday on charges of first-degree murder, abduction with the intent to defile, aggravated malicious wounding and breaking and entering with the intent to commit murder — all in connection with the Lard case, per the sheriff's office.

He was arrested the following day and is being held in Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

According to booking information from the jail, Harrison was booked shortly after 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday and the "offense date" on all charges matches with the date of Lard's killing. It is unclear if Harrison has acquired legal representation.

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<p>Office of Stafford County Sheriff Facebook</p> Jacqueline Lard

Office of Stafford County Sheriff Facebook

Jacqueline Lard

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jacqueline’s and Amy’s family and friends and we hope this arrest can bring them some peace," the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office shared in a statement.

"Thank you to Detective [D.K.] Wood and all the law enforcement and laboratory efforts that made this arrest possible."

Baker was 18 at the time of her death, per local ABC affiliate WJLA.

As the office notes on Facebook, Lard was last seen on Nov. 14, 1986 working at Mount Vernon Realty. Nearby workers spotted what authorities described a "horrific struggle" at the scene the following morning. Two children then discovered her body on Nov. 16, while playing in a wooded area, where police also collected evidence.

"This meticulous collection of evidence would ultimately provide the suspect’s identification 37 years later," the sheriff's office wrote.

The next month, Lard's vehicle was discovered abandoned in Fairfax County. Despite the further collecting of evidence and ruling out suspects by multiple police agencies, it became a cold case.

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<p>Office of Stafford County Sheriff Facebook</p> Detective D.K. Wood escorting Elroy Harrison after his arrest

Office of Stafford County Sheriff Facebook

Detective D.K. Wood escorting Elroy Harrison after his arrest

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According to the sheriff's office, Detective D.K. Wood later worked with Parabon NanoLabs as they used forensic investigative genetic genealogy to link DNA from the Lard murder to DNA connected to the murder of Baker.

The DNA phenotyping brought detectives to a family name on Dec. 14, 2023, and after a search warrant to obtain DNA from Harrison, the Department of Forensic Science determined it to be a match, per the office.

Harrison has since been arrested in connection with the Lard murder, as Fairfax County Police Department cold case detectives are working with the Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth Attorney to charge him with the Baker murder.

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