He remained free for years after committing the crimes he has been charged with, but he won’t be allowed his freedom as he awaits trial, that is the decision by a Montgomery County District Court Judge on Monday, at a bond hearing for the Germantown man arrested in connection to a series of rapes in Germantown between 2007 and 2011.
Marlon Alexander, 39, of the 13000 block of Dairymaid Drive was denied bail during a bail review hearing in front of Judge Rand Gelber in Rockville. According to reports, Judge Gelber said, “Due to the nature of the crimes, the suspect poses a serious threat to the community.”
Alexander, who is married with four children, was arrested by Montgomery County police detectives on Thursday, Sept. 13 while he shopped at the Safeway store in Germantown Town Center. He is charged with for two counts of first-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape, three counts of first-degree sexual offense, four counts of burglary, and one count attempted first-degree sexual offense.
At a press conference held Friday afternoon, Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas J. Manger announced that detectives had arrested Alexander, through the use cutting-edge technology which was first used to capture the so-called Gold State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo in April.
According to police, detectives have been investigating a series of four burglaries and rapes in which the same suspect left DNA at multiple crime scenes. After obtaining a warrant for and arresting Alexander, a sample of his DNA was taken. Yesterday, the DNA sample provided by Alexander was submitted to the department’s crime lab for analysis. The DNA was analyzed and matched the DNA samples left by the suspect in the four offenses.
Alexander began his series of burglaries and rapes a little over 11 years ago on August 11, 2007, at approximately 1:00 am when police say that he gained entry into the home of a 25-year-old woman, while she was living in the 18200 block of Lost Knife Circle in Gaithersburg. He put an unknown weapon to her head and threatened the victim that he would shoot her if she did not perform a sexual act. A struggle ensued, and the suspect fled from the residence. Police said that the suspect left some DNA evidence at the scene and it was recovered in this case.
The next attack took place three years later on June 19, 2010, when he gained entry into a 68-year-old woman’s home in the 20300 block of Beaconfield Terrace in Germantown at 3:20 am and raped her. The suspect left DNA evidence which recovered in this case.
The next attack took place two months later on August 21, 2010, at approximately 4:15 am, when the suspect forced entry into the 86-year-old woman’s apartment at the assisted living center in the 2100 block of Father Hurley Boulevard in Germantown and raped her. Suspect DNA recovered in this case matched the suspect DNA recovered from the June 19, 2010, sexual assault.
Four months later, police say Alexander returned to the Beaconfield Terrace home of the first 68-year-old victim and raped her again. This took place on January 5, 2011, at 12:45 am. Again DNA evidence matched the DNA evidence from the previous two rapes.
In June of 2017, cold case detectives sought the services of Reston, Va.-based Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company that specializes in DNA phenotyping: the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence. Using DNA evidence from body fluids left by the suspect at these rape scenes, Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service has produced what the company and police refer to as a Snapshot composite depicting how the suspect, in this case, may have looked.
Manger also said that using Parabon’s Snapshot DNA and the company’s access to DNA database records from other DNA subscription services such as Ancestry.com or 23-and-me.com, detectives received names of possible distant family members of the suspect.
Police are crediting Patrol Officer Steve Smugeresky, or “Smugs” with doing the legwork work associated with tracking down family names members of people sharing the names and through searching through Census Bureau records and newspaper obituaries to narrow down the field of possible suspects. Police said Smugeresky, who was assigned to the Germantown District when the crimes occurred, (he has since been reassigned to another unit in MCPD) was able to identify six family trees and eventually hit on a woman in Georgia who told him that she had connections to Montgomery County.
In June of 2017, police released a DNA Snapshot composite sketch based on the DNA evidence left by the suspect at the crime scenes which produce trait predictions for the suspect. Individual predictions were made for the subject’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, Snapshot composites were produced depicting what the suspect might look like at a certain age and with a certain body-mass index.
Detectives believe it is possible that Alexander committed additional sexual assaults and continue to examine similar unsolved rapes that have occurred in the County, including two in the Germantown/Gaithersburg area. Investigators are also looking into any other municipalities where Alexander may have lived in the past to determine if there are any similar unsolved rape cases.
If found guilty of the charges Alexander currently faces, he could serve five life sentences. He is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on October 12.
Top: The suspect Marlon Michael Alexander, 39, of the 13000 block of Dairymaid Drive in Germantown. Photo courtesy MCPD.
Next: Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas J. Manger announcing the arrest Marlon Michael Alexander. Officer Steve Smugeresky is behind Chief Manger’s left shoulder.
Next: The side by-side-by photos of the composite sketch released in 2007 and the suspect’s mugshot taken after his arrest on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.
Next: The DNA Snapshot composite of the suspect released in June of 2017 which was based on DNA analysis.
Photos by Germantown Pulse