LANCASTER COUNTY — A surprising turn in the cold case of Christy Mirack. Raymond Rowe, the suspected killer, pleads guilty to first-degree murder today in a Lancaster County courtroom. He was sentenced to life in prison.
“He’s a rapist and murderer and a burglar and he’s going to spend the rest of his life in jail,” said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.
In front of a courtroom full of Christy Mirack's friends and family, Raymond Rowe admitted, through his attorney, that he was responsible for the rape and brutal murder of the 25-year-old teacher. It was an announcement that brought Mirack's brother and father to tears and one that puts an end to a case that has lasted decades.
“We fashion this so he can never get out. He should never get out,” said Stedman.
Fifty-year-old Raymond Rowe was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Rowe and the prosecution reached a plea agreement that would take the death penalty off of the table. In return, Rowe admitted to killing Mirack inside her East Lampeter Township home on December 21, 1992. Over the next 25 years, Rowe would be very visible in the community, even becoming a local celebrity.
“It is chilling. It is haunting that he could just compartmentalize this and go back to literally enjoying his life,” Stedman said.
In court today, Christy Mirack's brother Vince was brought to tears while addressing Rowe asking simply, "Why?" and saying "You took away our joy ... Most of all, you took away our Christy."
“No family should have to endure this with the loss of their daughter,” Stedman said.
Rowe's attorney, Patricia Spotts says the 50-year-old has admitted to many people that he is the killer. However, when given the chance to talk to the family, he simply said, "I'm sorry. I can't imagine what you are going through. I apologize."
On top of the life sentence, Raymond Rowe will also serve 60 to 120 years for the six other crimes he plead guilty to including rape and deviate sexual intercourse.
“I can't prove that they met each other or there was any type of encounter but I can prove a circumstantial link,” said Stedman.
While not admissible during a court case, Stedman has his theories as to how Raymond Rowe might have focused in on Christy Mirack before December 21, 1992.
As far as anyone can tell, the two did not know each other. However -- Rowe lived about four miles from Mirack, driving past her house everyday on his way to work. During the summer, Stedman says Mirack and her roommate at the time would sunbathe facing the street, possibly catching Rowe's eye.
Also, the day of her death, investigators found a ticket to the Chameleon Club in lancaster. Rowe would DJ at the club every Friday during that time period, putting them in the same place.
Despite his admittance of crime, the District Attorney says we might never know why.
“What could he say that would diminish the culpability. I think curiosity we would like to know. I would like to know. For the bottom line, ultimately it doesn't matter,” Stedman said.