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Police: 1988 Skyline Mall rape case solved with fingerprint in Alexandria

Police car lights (file photo)

A 61-year-old Arlington man is behind bars for the alleged abduction and brutal rape of a woman in the Skyline area in 1988.

George Thomas, Jr., was identified by a Fairfax County Police Department fingerprint examiner, who matched a fingerprint found on the victim’s vehicle in 1988 to a fingerprint from a 2020 concealed weapons charge that was on file in Alexandria. He would have been 26 years old when the incident occurred.

“In this case, justice was delayed but justice was not denied,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis announced in a press conference on Tuesday (Nov. 22). “Closure is really not a representative description of how victims feel, even many, many years later. This is another chapter for the victim in this case.”

On the evening of August 24, 1988, the 22-year-old victim was walking to her car in the mall parking garage when she was abducted by two men.

“The victim was forced into her vehicle and made to drive to a secluded location in the Northern Virginia area here in the DMV,” said Major Ed O’Carroll, the commander of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensic Bureau. “The victim was led to a wooded area. Both men raped her before, again, forcing her back into her car to drive to yet another secluded location and raped her again.”

O’Carroll continued, “This is a horrible, tragic and profoundly horrifying series of events. The victim thankfully was able to escape in her car and fled the scene following the second assault.”

After discovering the fingerprint match, Fairfax County Police then identified the second suspect as Gregory Allen Thomas, the suspect’s deceased younger brother. He died in 2009.

“As the years passed, the FCPD never forgot about this case,” O’Carroll said. “We always hoped for a forensic development.”

Thomas was charged with two counts of rape, one count of sodomy and one count of abduction. He is being held without bond in the Montgomery County Detention Center and goes to court on Dec. 21.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Marhals Service, the Metro Transit Police and the Fairfax County Police Department.