Twenty-five years ago today, police discovered the remains of Harrisonburg native Alicia Showalter Reynolds near Lignum, an unincorporated village in Culpeper County about 15 miles east of the town.
Her killer has never been found, however, the Virginia State Police continue to investigate her murder.
Sgt. Brent Coffey said he hopes that someone might come forward with information. He said someone might know something about the case, was hesitant to come forward years ago but now might be willing to come forward and share their tip.
“Any information would be helpful,” Coffey said. “We’ll take it and see where it leads us.”
So far, VSP has received more than 10,000 tips, but none have been able to bring Reynolds’ killer to justice.
A married, 25-year-old Johns Hopkins University pharmacology student, on March 2, 1996, Reynolds was en route to Charlottesville from Baltimore to meet her mother for a day of shopping when she disappeared.
Her car was found beside the highway just south of Culpeper early that evening.
Two witnesses told police they’d seen a woman and man outside Reynolds’ white 1993 Mercury Tracer with its hood up, as though they were searching for a mechanical problem. A dark pickup was behind the vehicle. Witnesses told investigators they saw the man put the car hood down and they got into the truck and drove off.
Witnesses described the man as white, estimated to be 35 to 45 years old, 5-feet-10 inches to 6-feet tall, and weighing between 180 and 190 pounds. His hair was light to medium brown with a reddish tint; his eyes were blue or hazel green.
The description prompted several women from the region to report roadway encounters with a similar man.
They said he pulled beside their vehicle and made signals indicating they might have car trouble. Some accepted rides from him, with one reporting a physical confrontation she escaped by jumping out of his moving vehicle. In each case, there proved to be nothing wrong with their car. He was reported to have used the name Larry Breeden.
Based on descriptions, a composite sketch was developed and widely circulated throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Because many of the encounters occurred along U.S. 29, he was dubbed “The Route 29 Stalker.”
David Darrell Rice, of Columbia, Md, who was linked to other possible murders, has been named a person of interest in the case, according to police.