In a major breakthrough, Virginia authorities have identified the late Alan W. Wilmer Sr. as the perpetrator in three cold cases dating back to the 1980s, revealing the connection six years after his 2017 death. Posthumous DNA analysis linked Wilmer to the murders of David L. Knobling, 20, and Robin M. Edwards, 14, in Isle of Wight County, as well as the 1989 strangling of Teresa Lynn Spaw Howell, 29, as reported by CNN.
Knobling and Edwards were last seen in September 1987; their bodies were discovered four days later along the James River’s south bank. While Wilmer’s DNA matched the crime scenes, authorities clarified there is no current evidence linking him to the broader Colonial Parkway cases. The cases are now labeled “resolved but not closed,” with investigators exploring the possibility of additional crimes committed by Wilmer.
Wilmer, a commercial fisherman, stood 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing approximately 165 pounds. Authorities seek information from anyone who may have interacted with him during that period. His distinctive blue 1966 Dodge Fargo pickup, with the Virginia license plate “EM-RAW,” is a key identifier.
Family members expressed relief at the resolution but lamented unanswered questions. Authorities urge those with information to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips online. The ongoing investigation sheds light on a dark chapter from decades ago.