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Mon Jun 24, 2024, 01:47 PM Jun 24

Discarded bottle at Dulles helps solve 2001 cold case, police say [View all]

Discarded bottle at Dulles helps solve 2001 cold case, police say

Eugene T. Gligor, charged in the decades-old homicide of Leslie J. Preer, is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County, Md., court Monday.

By Dan Morse
June 24, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Leslie J. Preer, right, with her daughter and husband in 1995. Preer was killed in 2001. (Family photo)

Unbeknownst to Eugene T. Gligor, investigators were quietly watching him as he walked through Dulles International Airport earlier this month. They saw him open a water bottle, drink from it and throw it away. Only after Gligor had moved on did they go grab the bottle.

The airport surveillance, as described by investigators in new court records, was a huge moment in the case, allowing them to collect genetic clues to test their possible match to a long-unsolved homicide from Chevy Chase, Md. … “The DNA from Gligor’s water bottle,” police wrote in the records, “was a positive match.”

The 44-year-old is now charged with first-degree murder in the 2001 death of Leslie J. Preer. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday when a judge in Montgomery County, Md., will review whether he should continue to be held without bond. His attorneys, Isabelle Raquin and Stephen Mercer, declined to comment Sunday evening.


Eugene Gligor being taken into custody Tuesday. (Montgomery County police)


By Dan Morse
Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of "The Yoga Store Murder." Twitter https://x.com/morsedan
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