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Stafford County Sheriff's Office

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Stafford, VA 22555

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Stafford, VA 22554


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Cold Case Murder Arrest
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By Major Shawn Kimmitz
March 5, 2024

Stafford County resident Jaqueline Lard was murdered in 1986 and her killer remained unidentified for nearly 40 years. The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office never gave up on this case and Sheriff D.P. Decatur, Jr. is now able to report a suspect is in custody for this heinous crime. Additionally, DNA evidence has linked the 1989 murder of a Stafford County resident in Fairfax County to the same suspect.

On November 14th 1986 Jacqueline Lard, age 32, was working at Mount Vernon Realty in the 300 block of Garrisonville Road. She was last seen that evening at 9:00 p.m. as the business closed. Tragically, Jacqueline never made it home that night.

On the morning of November 15th 1986, employees of other businesses in the area prepared to open for the day and discovered a crime scene at the realty office which indicated a horrific struggle. Jacqueline and her vehicle were both missing. Stafford County detectives, assisted by the Virginia State Police Crime Scene Unit and the FBI processed the scene and collected blood and other evidence.

The following day, two juveniles were playing in a wooded area near Railroad Avenue in Woodbridge and discovered a body beneath a pile of discarded carpet. Stafford detectives joined Prince William detectives and the FBI to diligently process the scene and identified the deceased as Jacqueline Lard. This meticulous collection of evidence would ultimately provide the suspect’s identification 37 years later.

Jacqueline’s missing vehicle was located abandoned in Fairfax County on December 18th 1986, leading to the recovery of additional evidence. Over the years, detectives from multiple agencies, both federal and state, followed up on countless leads and conducted interviews, resulting in the elimination of numerous suspects and persons of interest.

The FBI created a task force combining the efforts of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, Prince William County Police Department, the FBI and the DEA. DNA was extracted from the evidence, but repeated searches of the Virginia and National DNA Databanks via CODIS in addition to direct comparisons against submitted persons of interest and familial searches failed to identify the killer. Sadly, the leads were exhausted and the investigation moved to Cold Case status.

Sheriff Decatur would not allow this case to remain idle and Detective D.K. Wood explored a new technology, forensic investigative genetic genealogy to help identify the killer.

The tenacious Detective Wood refused to give up. He worked with Parabon NanoLabs, a company providing DNA phenotyping. The analysis of the DNA linked the murder of Jacqueline Lard to the unsolved 1989 murder of Amy Baker in Fairfax County. Stafford County and Fairfax County detectives joined forces, determined to bring this murder suspect to justice.

On December 14th 2023, a family name for the suspect was identified. Detectives followed up on the leads this technology created and ultimately obtained a search warrant for DNA from Stafford County resident Elroy Harrison, 65. In February of this year, the Department of Forensic Science reported the DNA was a match. After nearly four decades, the identity of the murder suspect had been revealed.

On March 4th Harrison was indicted by a Stafford County Grand Jury for the first-degree murder, abduction with the intent to defile, and aggravated malicious wounding of Jacqueline Lard as well as breaking and entering with the intent to commit murder. He was arrested at his Stafford County residence on March 5th and placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

Cold Case detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department are working alongside the Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth Attorney to seek charges against Harrison for the murder of Amy Baker. For further information on the Amy Baker case, please visit 1980s Cases.pdf (

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jacqueline’s and Amy’s family and friends and we hope this arrest can bring them some peace. Thank you to Detective Wood and all the law enforcement and laboratory efforts that made this arrest possible.

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