Fairfax County Police Department Teams with Othram to Identify a Serial Sex Offender

58-year-old Edward Eugene Pottmyer of Chantilly, Virginia has been identified as the suspect in three sex crimes dating back to 1998.

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Published June 13 by Michael Vogen
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In September 1998, a 48-year-old woman was jogging on a bike path in the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax County, Virginia when she was sexually assaulted by an unknown man who implied he had a knife. After assaulting the woman, the man fled from the area on foot. Two years later in August 2000, at approximately 11:00pm, the unknown man forced his way into a home on Parkside Drive in Fairfax, Virginia where he attacked and assaulted a 66-year-old woman. The woman was asleep when she awoke to the man assaulting her. She was able to fight the suspect and escaped from him by jumping from a second story balcony and running away. In December 2004, the unknown man was observed exposing himself outside of a woman's home in Burke, Virginia. The woman spotted the man through a sliding glass door located in her basement. The woman yelled and the man ran away.

In each of these cases, DNA evidence was collected from the crime scenes. Traditional DNA testing was conducted and an STR profile for the unknown male suspect in each case was developed and entered into CODIS. The STR profile from each scene matched to a single unknown male. Despite extensive efforts by law enforcement to identify the man responsible, no known matches were found, and the cases went cold due to a lack of viable leads. In an attempt to finally identify the man responsible for these sex crimes, the Fairfax County Police Department teamed with Othram to determine if advanced DNA testing could help identify the man responsible.

In 2023, the Fairfax County Police Department submitted forensic evidence to Othram in the Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown man. Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team then used this profile to conduct extensive genetic genealogy research, ultimately providing new investigative leads to law enforcement. Using this new information, a follow-up investigation was conducted by law enforcement, leading to the identification of a possible suspect.

A DNA sample was collected from the potential suspect and compared to the forensic evidence from the crime scenes. This led to the positive identification of the man responsible, who is now known to be 58-year-old Edward Eugene Pottmyer of Chantilly, Virginia. Following the confirmation of his identity, the Fairfax County Police Department obtained warrants for Pottmyer’s arrest on charges of Forcible Sodomy and Abduction with the Intent to Defile. On Wednesday June 5, 2024, with the assistance of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Pottymer was taken into custody and booked at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he is being held on no bond.

Detectives would like to speak to anyone who may have information about these cases or believe they had unlawful contact with Pottmyer. Those with information are asked to call the Fairfax County Police Department’s non-emergency phone number at 703-246-7511. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS 866-411-8477). Victim specialists from the Fairfax County Police Department Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the victims are receiving appropriate resources and assistance.

The identification of Edward Eugene Pottmyer represents the 7th case in the State of Virginia where officials have publicly identified an individual using technology developed by Othram. Most recently in Chesterfield County, Virginia, Robert Lee Harris, whose remains were discovered near the Appomattox River in 1990, was identified after 34 years. In December 2023, 5-year-old Logan Nathaniel Bowman, who went missing in 2003, was identified after his remains were discovered in Carroll County, Virginia in 2022.

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

2829 Technology Forest Blvd Suite 100, The Woodlands, Texas 77381

Michael works with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada on “unsolvable“ cases that can benefit from advanced DNA testing methods. He helps these agencies use cutting edge DNA sequencing and new forensic techniques to develop investigative leads for their cases.

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About Othram Inc.

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at ... Read morerecovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.