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FairfaxAfter 21 years, Fairfax police put name to gunshot victim

After 21 years, Fairfax police put name to gunshot victim

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It’s been 21 years since Fairfax County police officers found the remains of a woman near a drainage ditch in Tysons.

Now, Fairfax County cold-case detectives have identified the remains as those of Patricia Agnes Gildawie, also known as “Choubi,” county police announced Sept. 26.

Cold-case detectives tracked down a possible relative of Gildawie with the help of partners at Othram Inc., which provides advanced DNA testing and forensic-grade genome sequencing. This testing identified a half-sister, who shared Gildawie’s story.

Detectives learned Gildawie was born in France in February 1958 and came to the U.S. when she was 8 months old. In the early 1970s, Gildawie moved to the city of Fairfax. Before her disappearance at age 17, Gildawie was dating an older man who worked at an upholstery store near Church Street and Lawyers Road, N.W., in Vienna.


Gildawie, who was known to drive a white Cadillac Eldorado with red interior, last was seen on Feb. 8, 1975. Gildawie’s skeletal remains were found Sept. 27, 2001, in the 5100 block of Lincoln Circle in Tysons. A construction crew found the remains behind an apartment complex, along with some clothing.

Police recovered the remains, which then were reviewed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and an anthropologist. This initial review determined the victim had died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Cold-case detectives engaged with Othram Inc. earlier this year. Funding for the testing and identification process was provided entirely by anonymous donors through DNASolves.

“Identifying this young woman solves a mystery that has been more than 47 years in the making,” said Maj. Ed O’Carroll, bureau commander of major crimes, cyber and forensics.

“Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working these cases,” O’Carroll said. “Advancements in technology have given my cold-case detectives an opportunity to pursue fresh leads and bring some relief to families that have been long suffering with the unknown.”

Detectives continue to investigate this case with new information provided by the family. Police ask anyone with information about this case to submit tips through Fairfax County Crime Solvers by calling (866) 411-TIPS (866-411-8477). Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000.

For information about the police department’s cold cases, visit https://bit.ly/3rP9kdZ.

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