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After D.C. man arrested in woman's cold case murder, victim's daughter reveals suspect is her ex-boyfriend: "Unreal"

Tracing family trees to catch killers
Inside the genetic genealogy being used to solve crimes 13:49

A man has been arrested 23 years after a woman was found dead in her suburban D.C. home, authorities announced Tuesday — and in an unexpected twist, the victim's daughter revealed that she once dated the suspect.

Eugene Teodor Gligor, 44, was arrested by the U.S. Marshal's Task Force in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in the 2001 death of Leslie Preer, the Montgomery County Department of Police said in a news release. Gligor was charged with first-degree murder and was being held at the D.C. Jail pending an extradition request from Maryland authorities.

On May 2, 2001, a colleague went to check on Preer after she failed to show up to work, according to The Washington Post. The coworker found blood in the foyer of her Chevy Chase, Maryland, home and called police, who later found Preer's body in an upstairs bedroom, the newspaper reported. Her death was ruled a homicide.

With no leads, Preer's murder case went cold. In 2022, police offered a $10,000 reward for anyone with information that would lead to an arrest, CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reported.

Later that year, DNA evidence recovered from blood at the crime scene was submitted to a lab for forensic genetic genealogical analysis. Detectives were ultimately able to identify Gligor as a potential suspect.

On June 9, detectives collected DNA evidence belonging to Gligor and compared it to the DNA recovered from the crime scene. Gligor's DNA matched the crime scene DNA, police said.

A warrant for Gligor's arrest was obtained Saturday and he was taken into custody Tuesday.

Lauren Preer, the victim's daughter, told WTTG-TV that Gligor was her ex-boyfriend, saying they lived in the same neighborhood and began dating when she was 15.

"It's been a hell of a day," she told the station. "He was my ex-boyfriend."

She told the station that she even bumped into Gligor at a restaurant in D.C. last year.

"He didn't seem weird and how you can look somebody in the eye and knowing that he committed this crime and act like nothing happened is pretty unreal," she told WTTG.

When asked if Gligor was ever considered a person of interest by the family, Lauren Preer told the station: "No, not at all."

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