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Possible Development in Colonial Parkway Murders
By Nancy E. Sheppard

CPM imageBetween 1986- 1989, the Colonial Parkway Murders rocked the Hampton Roads Peninsula. After nearly 30 years after the last case occurred, the murders remain cold as the families of the eight victims continue to seek answers from police officials. But a glimmer of hope remains as Bill Thomas, brother of one of the first victims, Cathy Thomas, tweeted on Sunday, July 22:

"#FBI and #VirginiaStatePolice have told the Colonial Parkway Murders families that we have potential perpetrator #DNA in 3 of the 4 #ColonialParkwayMurders crime scenes. There is no word on whether nay of the samples overlap, and no matches so far as testing continues.”

In 1986, Bill’s sister, Cathy, along with her partner, Becky Dowski, were found murdered on Colonial Parkway in Cathy’s white Honda Civic. In 1987, 15-year-old Robin Edwards of Newport News and her boyfriend, 20-year-old David Knobling of Hampton, were found murdered at Ragged Island in Isle of Wight County. The next year, York County residents, Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey, were reported missing after Keith’s car was found abandoned a short distance from where Cathy and Becky were found two years prior. The final case happened in New Kent County when the skeletal remains of Daniel Lauer of Amelia and Annamaria Phelps of Virginia Beach were found several months after Daniel’s abandoned car was found in a nearby rest area parking lot. The cases share commonalities including the victims taken in pairs in remote locations, their cars abandoned or staged as if they were stolen, and the lack of physical evidence found at the scene. Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey have never been found.

In the late 1980’s, forensic technology was still in its rudimentary form. However, evidence was taken, including a clump of hair found in Cathy’s hand. The latest news does not include any evidence seized from the Lauer/Phelps case and the police will not say whether or not there are any overlaps in the DNA profiles being drawn from the Thomas/Dowski, Edwards/Knobling, and Call/Hailey cases.

Keith Call’s sister, Joyce Call-Canada, told reporter Andy Fox a sentiment probably shared by the other family members of the Colonial Parkway victims: "Our family is very encouraged with the new testing available and being used in our case. We pray this is our year that the cases will be solved!"

If you have any information that could help solve these cases, the F.B.I. has established a specific email address for tips at: colonial_parkway_murders@ic.fbi. gov.


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