DNA testing advances lead to arrest of suspect in Fairfax Co. sex assault cases dating back to 1998

An advancement in DNA testing has lead to an arrest in several cold case sexual assaults in Fairfax County, Virginia. All three cases go back decades.

Edward Eugene Pottmyer, 58, of Chantilly has been arrested on charges connected to three unsolved sexual assault cases, according to a Thursday news release from the Fairfax County police.

The oldest case dates back to September 1998. Pottmyer is suspected of assaulting a 48-year-old woman who was running on a bike bath in the Fair Lakes area, while implying he had a knife. He is accused of sexually assaulting her and then running away.

In a 2000 case, Pottmyer is accused of breaking into the Fairfax home of a 66-year-old woman and sexually assaulting her as she slept. The victim woke up and fought the suspect, who police say fled after jumping from a second-story balcony.

In a 2004 case, Pottymer is accused of exposing himself to a 51-year-old woman while standing in the backyard of a home in Burke.

Detectives recovered forensic evidence from the scenes of all three cases. The evidence was submitted to forensic genetic genealogy company Othram Inc., which utilized Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing to develop a comprehensive profile. That DNA analysis linked all three cases and identified Pottmyer as a potential suspect.

Detectives obtained a DNA sample from Pottmyer, which positively identified him as the suspect, according to the release.

Pottymer was arrested on June 5 on charges of forcible sodomy and abduction with the intent to defile. He is in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.

Detectives would like to speak to anyone who may have information about these cases, or believe they might also have been assaulted by Potttmyer. Anyone with information is asked to call the department’s Cold Case Squad at 703-246-7511.

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Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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