DJ Freez pleads guilty to cold-case murder

Justice has finally caught up with “DJ Freez.”

Raymond Rowe, 50, who DJed at parties for decades under the moniker of “DJ Freez,” pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the vicious 1992 rape and murder of a 25-year-old East Lampeter Township woman.

“I can’t imagine what you are going through. I apologize,” Rowe said during his guilty plea sentencing to the family of victim Christy Mirack, who worked as a schoolteacher.

Rowe’s defense lawyer attorney, Patricia Spotts, entered the guilty plea on Rowe’s behalf, stating, “He has told us that he did it. … The person standing beside me has admitted his guilt.”

As part of an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty, Rowe accepted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus a 60- to 120-year sentence.

Rowe was a DJ at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club for 15 years, according to his website, and worked as a DJ at parties since the ’90s. Prior to that Rowe performed as a break dancer.

Mirack’s 1992 murder was cold until 2016, when investigators began to review DNA evidence from the murder using new technology.

Mirack was reportedly surprised by an attacker as she was preparing to go to work on the morning of Dec. 21, 1992. Police said she was bludgeoned with a wooden cutting board, sexually assaulted and strangled to death. He body was found by a coworker who went to find her after she did not report for work that day.

Decades later, investigators sent the DNA evidence to Parabon NanoLabs, developed a “genotype file,” including creating a rendering of Rowe’s likely appearance. The DNA was later matched to the DNA of relatives of Rowe’s in public genealogical research databases, and police developed Rowe as a “strong viable suspect” based on age, his whereabouts during the crime and the rendering.

At that point, a detective went to one of Rowe’s gigs as “DJ Freez” to obtain DNA confirmation.

“On May 31, investigators obtained DNA surreptitiously from Rowe, from chewing gum and a water bottle Rowe used while working as a disc jockey at an event at Smoketown Elementary School,” the Lancaster County DA’s office said. “Testing revealed a match.”

Pennsylvania State Police performed the tests, and according to the Lancaster DA, there is one in 200 octillion chance that the killer is someone besides Rowe. Police arrested Rowe at his Whittier Lane home in Lancaster, Pa. in June, 2018. He has been jailed ever since.

No clear motive for the crime or how Rowe even encountered Mirack was made public.

“We are not at a point where we are discussing or speculating about a motive. Considering the time that has past, some specific questions about motive might never be answered publicly,” Lancaster DA Craig Stedman said in a statement. “I can say, in consideration of all the information and evidence — to include the DNA found at the scene — we know that this defendant raped and brutally murdered Christy Mirack.”

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