Images put out by police showed how Kenneth E. Day may have looked 25 years ago and at 45 years old. He was believed to have been involved in two unsolved crimes in Montgomery County, police said, but died last year. Picture: Courtesy of Montgomery County (Md.) Police
Maryland -  A West Virginia man who died in 2017 has been linked to two cold cases in Maryland where he allegedly raped two women and killed one of them more than two decades ago, authorities said.

Montgomery County police said Friday that they had identified Kenneth Earl Day of Upshur County in West Virginia as the man who was involved in a 1989 rape of a 53-year-old woman and the 1994 rape and killing of Le Bich-Thuy, a 42-year-old research biologist at Children's National Medical Center.

Day died at age 52 in March 2017.

Bich-Thuy had ridden a Metro train from the District to the Twinbrook stop in Rockville and started walking home. Police said Day grabbed Bich-Thuy, then raped her and beat her with a piece of concrete. He eventually strangled her, they said.

In the other case, police said they think Day was involved in raping a woman after he grabbed her and dragged her into a yard.

In 2017, the Montgomery County Police Department's cold case detectives got a Virginia company to create a sketch of what the attacker might have looked like, based on DNA gathered at the scenes. The forensic technique is called "DNA phenotyping," turning genetic evidence into facial images.

Detectives said they were certain Day was involved in both crimes and that they believe he was targeting women in the Rockville area for at least five years.

The DNA tech company - Parabon NanoLabs - also used a genetic genealogy database, called GEDmatch, to try to find people who "shared a significant amount of DNA" with the suspect in the crimes.

Officials said that helped identify Day as a suspect.

Detectives got a sample of his DNA from his autopsy and investigators found a positive match to DNA that was taken as evidence from both crime scenes, according to officials.

Authorities said they're looking into whether Day might have been involved in any other unsolved crimes, as he had lived at various addresses in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Washington Post