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Crime News Cold Cases

Las Vegas Cold Case Officials Announce Suspect In Women's 1990s Murders

Lori Ann Perera and Pearl Wilson Ingram were raped, beaten, and strangled in the early 1990s, though it would take years for investigators to link the murders to a single suspect. 

By Jax Miller

Cold case investigators in Las Vegas have announced a suspect in the 1990s homicides of two women.

The 1992 murder of Lori Ann Perera, 31, and the 1994 murder of Pearl Wilson Ingram, 35, may finally be solved, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) announced Monday. Thanks to genetic genealogy, experts successfully mapped out the biological relatives of an unknown male whose DNA is connected to both violent murders, leading investigators to a suspect.

That person is Eddie George Snowden Jr., who would have been 86 years old today. However, the suspect died of natural causes in 2017, meaning he will never be prosecuted for the murders.

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The discovery was a success thanks to the scientific leads discovered by Othram and the funds of the Vegas Justice League (VJL) — both of whom discussed the importance of crowdfunding at Oxygen’s Crime Con 2022.

The murder investigation began when the body of Lori Ann Perera was discovered in a desert area, not far from a retail store on the 2800 block of East Charleston Boulevard on Dec. 11, 1992, just before 8:30 p.m., according to LVMPD officials. According to Othram’s DNASolves — a website hosting fundraisers for law enforcement officials to pay for advanced scientific testing — Perera was found by a man walking his dog.

She was nude and appeared to have ligature marks on her ankles and wrists, according to DNASolves. She also had tape over her mouth.

Pearl Ingram and Lori Perera

A postmortem examination by the Clark County Medical Examiner ruled she died of asphyxia by manual strangulation and sustained blunt force trauma to the head, ruling her death as a homicide.

A year and one month later, on Jan. 11, 1994, at around 4:30 p.m., a sanitation worker from Silver State Disposal found the body of Pearl Wilson Ingram in a dumpster behind a Von’s Grocery Store at 4400 East Charleston Boulevard — about one and a half miles east on the same road where Perera’s body was found.

Ingam was nude from the waist down and also died of manual strangulation, according to Othram. Postmortem findings revealed some of the victim’s teeth were missing, and she sustained facial abrasions.

It was believed whoever killed Ingram unsuccessfully attempted to conceal her body under debris.

“At the time, none of the investigative efforts led to the identification of the suspect responsible for the murder of Perera and Ingram,” according to LVMPD’s release. “The cases remained unsolved and were assigned to the LVMPD Homicide Cold Case Section.”

For years, the murders of Perera and Ingram would not be connected.

However, in 2007, LVMPD cold case investigators reviewing Perera’s case tested a sperm sample from the victim’s rectal swab, resulting in the DNA profile of an unknown male, which was then submitted to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

The case sat for years until 2012, when a reexamination of Ingram’s homicide led investigators to create a DNA profile from the victim’s sexual assault kit, which was also submitted to CODIS.

A police handout of Eddie Snowden

The tests confirmed the women’s murders were committed by the same assailant.

In June 2022, nearly a decade after investigators connected Perera and Ingram’s cases, the LVMPD Forensic Laboratory and their cold case investigators enlisted Othram to open a scientific line of inquiry. Tests performed by their in-house genealogy team led them to Snowden.

“LVMPD Cold Case Investigators were able to obtain the DNA of Snowden’s biological family to confirm he was indeed the person who sexually assaulted and murdered both Perera and Ingram,” according to LVMPD officials.

Othram’s Chief Development Officer, Kristen Mittelman, called the discovery a breakthrough.

“The brutal crimes against these two women were first connected when CODIS testing confirmed the same unknown male DNA was connected to both crime scenes, and then the cases were solved when LVMPD and Othram were able to attribute that male to Eddie George Snowden Jr.,” Mittelman told Oxygen.com. “This highlights the power of combining traditional CODIS testing with forensic genetic genealogy (FGG) testing.”

Records state Snowden lived on East Charleston Boulevard — close to where both bodies were discovered — at the time of the murders, according to DNASolves. He reportedly had a criminal history from when he lived in the Fresno, California area between 1956 and 1979.

On Monday, Ingram’s sister spoke to reporters during a live press conference held by LVMPD Lt. Jason Johansson, as reported by ABC Las Vegas affiliate KTNV-TV.

“I’d like to say, if there are any other family members — keep hope alive,” said the sister. “Keep God first. You, too, can have closure.”

It was not immediately clear if investigators were looking into Snowden as possibly being involved in other unsolved murders.

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