Guilty Plea in Cold-case Murder of Teacher from Northumberland County

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- It took 25 years, but police say the man who murdered a woman from Northumberland County will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Raymond Rowe pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to murdering Christy Mirack of Shamokin. He was arrested last year.

The elementary school teacher was sexually assaulted and beaten to death in her home near Lancaster in 1992.

Rowe, 50, of Lancaster County, will go to prison for the rest of his life after pleading guilty. Rowe was a DJ from the Lancaster area and goes by the name "DJ Freez."

Investigators say they were finally able to match DNA from chewing gum Rowe left at a gig in May to evidence collected from the crime scene.

People who live in the Shamokin area are relieved and happy for Mirack's family that justice was served.

"(Rowe) closed the door after he had strangled her and raped her, closed the door and went back to his life as he had done nothing wrong," said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.

Mirack was born and raised in Shamokin and was a 1985 graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School.

Bill Gilger has been a teacher there for 40 years and remembers Mirack. He is happy for her family that justice was served.

"I'm happy that they also don't have to sit through a trial with the news that he's pled guilty and bring all that back to the degree that it would," Gilger said.

"Christy was a beautiful, young, enthusiastic student who went on to do a great job as an elementary teacher. We were all shocked to hear what had happened," Gilger said. "I'm probably the last one here that taught Christy because most of the others had retired, if not all."

Edward Deptula of Shamokin is friends with Mirack's father. Deptula believes Mr. Mirack helped keep the case alive for more than 25 years.

"He wouldn't let it go and kept calling the police involved, the investigators, trying to keep it open," said Deptula. "Justice was served for the family after 25 years of mourning. Laying someone to rest without knowing who committed that crime weighs on you."

The case was featured on ABC's 20/20.

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