Editor’s note: Niskayuna Police documents spell Smerk’s first name “Stephan,” while Fairfax County Police spelled it “Stephen.”
SPRINGFIELD, Va. (NEWS10) — A Niskayuna man has been arrested in connection to a homicide that took place in 1994, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Stephan Smerk, 51, was charged with second-degree murder.
On November 20, 1994, Robin Lawrence, 37, was found stabbed to death in her home on Reseca Lane in Springfield. During the preliminary investigation, detectives were able to recover evidence from the scene and a DNA profile was developed, however, at the time, there was no match in any system for the recovered DNA.
For decades, detectives from the Cold Case Unit continued their efforts to review evidence and identify a suspect. Many years later, a DNA match was found, and detectives determined that Smerk was working in the area at the time of the murder.
Detectives then traveled to New York, were able to get a confession from Smerk, and obtained a warrant for second-degree murder. Following his interview with detectives, Smerk was arrested after turning himself in at the Niskayuna Police Department and was sent to the Schenectady County Jail for arraignment, awaiting extradition to Virginia.
“Our cold case detectives exhibit unparalleled dedication when it comes to closing a case with many unknowns,” said Fairfax County Chief of Police Kevin Davis. “This case is but one example of how our department’s police work goes above and beyond, and it exemplifies our commitment to delivering justice regardless of the timeline.”
Anyone with additional information regarding this case is asked to contact the Fairfax Major Crimes Bureau at (703)246-7800.