New DNA evidence links man to two 1988 cold cases of kidnapped girls


Two cold cases involving the kidnappings and sexual assaults of two Hagerstown girls in 1988 have been linked to similar charges taking place in Somerset County, Pennsylvania from 1999. 

Timothy David Nelson Jr. was indicted in Pennsylvania last week for the kidnapping and rape of a preteen girl and is facing those same charges for two separate incidents that occurred a decade before in Hagerstown.

The abduction occurred at an alley between Potomac Avenue and Hamilton Boulevard.

All three cases had DNA evidence, but after the updates to the case in Pennsylvania, police were able to link those fingerprints to the DNA from the other two crimes from 31 years ago in Washington County. 

“In all three of the cases we had DNA evidence, but obviously over time the DNA process, the way that we analyze it, the way that we compare it, has changed. So there was some updates done specifically to the case in Pennslyvania where they had fingerprints. The fingerprints were able to be run a different way with the new technology and we were able to get a match on that fingerprint,” said Nick Varner, a detective with Hagerstown City Police Department. 

The detective added that Pennsylvania has jurisdiction right now, but after that process, nelson will be served with indictment here in Maryland and additional DNA samples will be collected. 

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