DNA Evidence Links Smalltime Fisherman to Two Cold-Case Murders in Virginia’s ‘Colonial Parkway Murders’

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – An investigation into three cold-case homicides in southeastern Virginia has revealed a potential link to a small-time fisherman who passed away in 2017. The recent breakthrough concerns the unsolved slayings of couples known as the “Colonial Parkway Murders,” which occurred in the 1980s.

Law enforcement officials from the Virginia State Police made the announcement on Monday, identifying the suspect as Alan W. Wilmer Sr. They disclosed that Wilmer would be charged if he were alive, although they provided few details about how he’s tied to the killings or when he became a suspect.

Investigators obtained Wilmer’s DNA posthumously, revealing that he was not a convicted felon and therefore not included in law enforcement databases. The victims’ families expressed relief and gratitude for the progress made, which has brought some closure after years of living in uncertainty.

The “Colonial Parkway Murders” claimed the lives of three couples and are connected to a fourth couple whose bodies were never found. Two of the victims were sexually assaulted, adding to the heinous nature of the crimes.

While the double homicide of David Knobling and Robin Edwards in 1987 may not yet be forensically linked to the other cases, the investigations remain active. Additionally, Wilmer was identified as the suspect in the unrelated 1989 slaying of Teresa Lynn Spaw Howell in the city of Hampton.

Investigators are urging anyone with information about Wilmer’s activities and associates to come forward, emphasizing that it’s not too late to provide valuable insights. They can contact the FBI through a dedicated hotline or submit tips online.