Next 'America's Most Wanted' on Mirzayan Killing, Potomac River Rapist Case
The next episode of “America’s Most Wanted,” with host John Walsh, focuses on Georgetown. The show, which will premiere June 29, at 9 p.m. on Lifetime, focuses on the search for a man accused of murdering Christine Mirzayan and is wanted in connection with nine sexual assaults. Police have dubbed him the “Potomac River Rapist.”
The Christine Mirzayan case has appeared on “America’s Most Wanted” before, but a newly discovered link between this murder and nine other rapes have led to this cold case to be re-assessed. “We are revisiting the Christine Mirzayan case to give it, and the other nine rapes, the national attention they deserve. It is important to Mr. Walsh,” said Roger Chiang of “America’s Most Wanted.”
Recently re-examined DNA links two crimes: the murder of Christine Mirzayan and the sexual assault of another victim. Intern and graduate student Christine Mirzayan was murdered in the summer of 1998. She was walking home from a dinner gathering when she was dragged into the woods, sexually assaulted and murdered. The crime took place at Canal Road near the entrance to Georgetown University. The other sexual assault case happened in 1996, less than two miles from the Mirzayan murder. The victim was walking along a row of homes and woods in the Palisades neighborhood in the 4900 block of MacArthur Blvd., when she was dragged into the woods and sexually assaulted. This case has also been linked to several other sexual assault cases that happened between 1991 and 1996.
Chiang wanted to spotlight Amanda Haines, Detective Tony Brigidini and Detective Todd Williams, the cold case team that helped to discover the DNA link between the cases. “If it wasn’t for their hard work ... we would have basically nothing,” Chiang said. “I want to give kudos to this great cold case unit.”
Because of what Haines, Brigidini and Williams have done, he said, a DNA link has been discovered and there is a new composite sketch of the man who committed these crimes. Chiang hopes these latest developments can take the case to the next level — including finding a match and prosecution. Police believe the perpetrator has ties to the D.C. area. With the new evidence, the renewed profile and national attention these cases are getting, there is hope that the “Potomac River Rapist” can be brought to justice.
Tune into “America’s Most Wanted” Friday, June 29, 9 p.m. on Lifetime.