23 years after mysterious killing of Chevy Chase woman, police say DNA has led to arrest of suspect

Leslie Preer, 50, was found dead inside her Chevy Chase home in 2001. (Courtesy Montgomery County police)

Twenty-three years after a woman was found dead in her Chevy Chase home, Montgomery County, Maryland, police have made an arrest in the case.

Eugene Teodor Gligor, 44, was arrested in D.C. on Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder, according to a news release from police.

The body of 50-year-old Leslie Preer was discovered inside her home in the 4800 block of Drummond Avenue in May 2001. A colleague went to check on her after she did not show up to work, according to reporting by The Washington Post at that time. He found blood in the foyer and called police, who found Preer’s body in an upstairs bedroom.

Investigators said Preer was killed in part by blunt force trauma during an apparent struggle, the Post reported, but her death was not ruled a homicide until the medical examiner’s office had completed its autopsy two days later.

At the time, police said they did not believe the investigation was compromised by the delayed homicide classification. The Post reported that a top police official said the death did not look like an “obvious” homicide and could have been caused by suicide, an accident or a medical problem.

Although the case was not treated as a homicide investigation right away, blood evidence was collected from the crime scene in 2001, according to the police news release. The sample was submitted to a lab for forensic genetic genealogical DNA analysis in September 2022, and those results led detectives to Gligor as a potential suspect, police said.

Forensic genealogy is a technique in which investigators use a known DNA sample to build a family tree of possible connections based on DNA profiles from publicly accessible genealogy websites.

Police collected a DNA sample from Gligor earlier this month, and it generated a positive match with the evidence found at the crime scene, according to police.

Officers obtained a warrant for Gligor’s arrest on June 15, and he was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force in D.C. on Monday, police said.

In a photo released by police, Gligor is seen wearing a shirt that features the logo for Stealth Monitoring, a security company that specializes in live video monitoring technology. A LinkedIn profile under Gligor’s name indicates that he has worked in the District as an account executive at Stealth Monitoring since last September.

Gligor would have been about 21 years old at the time of Preer’s death.

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Kate Corliss

Kate Corliss is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. She is a senior studying journalism at American University and serves as the Campus Life Editor for the student newspaper, The Eagle.

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