Human remains discovered by a drainage ditch in Tysons over two decades ago have been linked to a teen who went missing back in 1975, Fairfax County police announced today (Monday).
With help from the private forensics lab Othram Inc., cold case detectives have identified the remains found behind the Post apartments in 2001 as those of Patricia Agnes Gildawie, a Fairfax City resident who disappeared when she was 17.
Also known by the nickname “Choubi,” Gildawie was last seen on Feb. 8, 1975. At that time, she had been dating an older man who worked at an upholstery store near the intersection of Church Street and Lawyers Road in Vienna, the Fairfax County Police Department says based on information shared by her half-sister.
According to the department, Gildawie was born in France in February 1958 before coming to the U.S. when she was 8 months old. She moved to Fairfax in the early 1970s and was known to drive a white Cadillac Eldorado with red interior.
The skeletal remains now identified as Gildawie’s were found on Sept. 27, 2001, in the 1500 block of Lincoln Circle by a construction crew, according to police:
A construction crew found the remains behind an apartment complex along with some clothing. The remains were recovered and reviewed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and an anthropologist. This initial review determined the female died from a gunshot wound to the head. This report further indicated the remains were like that of an African American female in her late teens to early 20s.
Detectives partnered with Othram on the case earlier this year, thanks to funding from anonymous donors through the site DNASolves.
Othram’s advanced DNA testing and forensic-grade genome sequencing determined that the remains, in fact, belonged to a Caucasian woman and identified Gildawie’s half-sister as a possible relative, according to the FCPD.
“Identifying this young woman solves a mystery that has been more than 47 years in the making,” Ed O’Carroll, FCPD’s Bureau Commander of Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics, said. “Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working these cases. Advancements in technology have given my Cold Case detectives an opportunity to pursue fresh leads and bring some relief to families that have been long suffering with the unknown.”
The department says its detectives are continuing to investigate Gildawie’s case using the new information provided by her family.
Information about the case can be submitted anonymously to police through Fairfax County Crime Solvers.
The FCPD has partnered with Othram to investigate several cold cases recently, including the mystery of the “Christmas Tree Lady” who died by suicide in Annandale in 1996.
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.
Similar to FEMA’s