November 23, 2010

Montgomery detectives make arrests in decades-old rape cases with DNA

Montgomery County detectives have made arrests in rape cases dating to 1981 and 1984, officials said Monday, by tracking down suspects through DNA samples taken from decades-old evidence. One of the suspects, Hubert Allan Marlin, 53, was arrested in Bethesda over the weekend after spending parts of the past 26 years in Michigan, Oregon and Texas, a police spokesman said. Detectives received a tip about where he was staying in Bethesda. They staked out a parked car and arrested Marlin as he tried to get in the vehicle, said Cpl. Dan Friz, a police spokesman.

The second suspect, Joseph Nickens, 54, was picked up by officers in Los Angeles on Nov. 3. Montgomery police flew to California to retrieve him, and by Monday morning he was booked into the county jail, Friz said. Detectives credited a federal grant that is allowing them to use old evidence for new DNA tests.

"That's becoming our bread and butter," said Detective Ed Golian of Montgomery's cold-case squad.

It is unclear whether Marlin or Nickens have retained attorneys. In the 1984 case, according to police, a man approached a woman who was walking home from her job at Montgomery Mall at 10 p.m. He beat and raped her near Democracy Boulevard and Old Georgetown Road. A passing motorist took the woman to a hospital. Detectives investigated but ran out of leads.

Earlier this year, investigators sent evidence away for DNA testing. The results were uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System database, which yielded a match to Marlin, who had given a DNA sample for previous legal trouble, Friz said. SOURCE: Washington Post

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