DNA Revelations: Death of Man Leads to Break in Decades-Old Colonial Parkway Killings

Lancaster, Virginia: Alan Wade Wilmer Sr. died alone in his home in Northern Neck over six years ago without anyone finding him for weeks. It wasn’t until a delivery driver noticed an open door to Wilmer’s home on Dec. 15, 2017 that authorities were alerted, according to a Virginia State Police spokeswoman. Due to the state of his body, the State Medical Examiner’s Office was called in to investigate, eventually determining that Wilmer’s cause of death was due to hardening of the arteries.

Wilmer’s DNA, collected at the time of his death, became crucial evidence years later when the FBI and Virginia State Police sought his genetic material in connection to the Colonial Parkway murders, a string of killings in the late 1980s. Despite never being a convicted felon, Wilmer’s genetic profile was not submitted to any DNA databases.

In June of this year, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science matched Wilmer’s DNA to one of the Colonial Parkway cases, connecting him to the slayings of 20-year-old David Knobling and 14-year-old Robin Edwards in 1987. This breakthrough also led to Wilmer being linked to the killing of Teresa Lynn Howell in 1989, a case that had never previously been connected to the Colonial Parkway slayings. The FBI and law enforcement are also considering the possibility of Wilmer being connected to the other unsolved Colonial Parkway killings.

Wilmer had previously been a suspect in the 1988 slayings of two Christopher Newport University students and had attracted the attention of the former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office due to his connection to the cases. After being implicated in the Colonial Parkway murders, authorities are now seeking possible links to other homicide or sexual assault cases in the region, as Wilmer’s DNA has raised new possibilities for law enforcement.

Wilmer, who was known by the nickname “Pokey,” was described as a solitary figure with little social interaction, making it challenging for authorities to build a comprehensive timeline of his movements. Law enforcement is urging the public to come forward with any information about Wilmer or his activities over the years. Any tips or leads can be submitted to the FBI for further investigation.

In conclusion, the involvement of Wilmer’s DNA in the Colonial Parkway killings has opened a new chapter in the investigation, and law enforcement officials are committed to pursuing justice for the victims.