Virginia Man Strangled Drug Enforcement Agent’s Wife at Realty Office, Sheriff Says

elroy harrison

Sheriff\'s release Elroy Harrison, Jacqueline Lard and Amy Baker.

Elroy Harrison is a 65-year-old Stafford County, Virginia, resident who is accused in the 1986 murder of Jacqueline Lard at a local realty office. He is also being investigated in a second 1980s-era homicide of a woman.

“Stafford County resident Jacqueline Lard was murdered in 1986 and her killer remained unidentified for nearly 40 years,” a news release from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department says. Lard was the wife of a Drug Enforcement agent, according to, which reported that Lard, 40, was strangled.

The Washington Post described Lard as “a 40-year-old real estate agent and mother of two.” According to the Post, Lard’s husband Ron, “a DEA employee, was out of the country at the time of her death. Authorities do not believe her murder had anything to do with his work.”

“The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office never gave up on this case and Sheriff D.P. Decatur, Jr. is now able to report a suspect is in custody for this heinous crime. Additionally, DNA evidence has linked the 1989 murder of a Stafford County resident in Fairfax County to the same suspect.” The suspect’s full name is Elroy Neal Harrison.

The release says Harrison was also linked to the “unsolved 1989 murder of Amy Baker in Fairfax County.”

“On March 4th Harrison was indicted by a Stafford County Grand Jury for the first-degree murder, abduction with the intent to defile, and aggravated malicious wounding of Jacqueline Lard as well as breaking and entering with the intent to commit murder. He was arrested at his Stafford County residence on March 5th and placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond,” it says, referring to the Lard case. The Sheriff’s Department wrote that it is still investigating Harrison for the Baker murder.

Here’s what you need to know:

Elroy Harrison Attacked Jacqueline Lard at a Realty Office & Then Dumped Her Body Behind a ‘Pile of Discarded Carpet,” the Sheriff’s Department Says

jacqueline lard

Sheriff\’s releaseJacqueline Lard.

On November 14, 1986, Jacqueline Lard, age 32, was “working at Mount Vernon Realty in the 300 block of Garrisonville Road. She was last seen that evening at 9:00 p.m. as the business closed. Tragically, Jacqueline never made it home that night,” the release says.

On the morning of November 15, 1986, employees of other businesses in the area “prepared to open for the day and discovered a crime scene at the realty office which indicated a horrific struggle. Jacqueline and her vehicle were both missing. Stafford County detectives, assisted by the Virginia State Police Crime Scene Unit and the FBI processed the scene and collected blood and other evidence,” the release says.

elroy harrison

Sheriff releaseElroy Harrison

“The following day, two juveniles were playing in a wooded area near Railroad Avenue in Woodbridge and discovered a body beneath a pile of discarded carpet. Stafford detectives joined Prince William detectives and the FBI to diligently process the scene and identified the deceased as Jacqueline Lard. This meticulous collection of evidence would ultimately provide the suspect’s identification 37 years later,” it says.

Lard’s missing vehicle “was located abandoned in Fairfax County on December 18th 1986, leading to the recovery of additional evidence. Over the years, detectives from multiple agencies, both federal and state, followed up on countless leads and conducted interviews, resulting in the elimination of numerous suspects and persons of interest,” the release says.

DNA in the Jacqueline Lard Case Was Also Linked to the Unsolved Murder of Amy Baker, Who Was Strangled After Running Out of Gas

amy baker

Fairfax CoAmy Baker

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, “On March 29, 1989, 18-year-old Amy Baker, of Stafford was visiting family in Falls Church. Amy started her commute back to Stafford County at 8:30 p.m. but never made it home

The release says,

Around 9:55 p.m. that same night, a Virginia State Trooper discovered Baker’s vehicle unoccupied by the roadside. The next morning, seeing the vehicle in the same spot, the trooper, presuming it abandoned, had it towed. Following Baker’s failure to return home, her family reported her missing.

Upon learning of her daughter’s car being towed, Baker’s mother located and searched it, finding her belongings still inside. On March 31, the family searched the area where the car had broken down and discovered Baker’s body in a wooded area near the exit ramp from I-95 to Backlick Road in Springfield. Detectives initiated an investigation, determining that Baker’s car had run out of gas on the exit ramp.

They believe she left her vehicle to seek help at the nearest gas station, encountering the suspect who subsequently fatally strangled her. Forensic evidence was recovered from the scene.

DNA was “extracted from the evidence” by a task force, according to the release. However, the murder became a cold case because the DNA led to no hits.

“Sheriff Decatur would not allow this case to remain idle and Detective D.K. Wood explored a new technology, forensic investigative genetic genealogy to help identify the killer,” the release says.

“The tenacious Detective Wood refused to give up. He worked with Parabon NanoLabs, a company providing DNA phenotyping. The analysis of the DNA linked the murder of Jacqueline Lard to the unsolved 1989 murder of Amy Baker in Fairfax County. Stafford County and Fairfax County detectives joined forces, determined to bring this murder suspect to justice,” it says.

“On December 14th 2023, a family name for the suspect was identified. Detectives followed up on the leads this technology created and ultimately obtained a search warrant for DNA from Stafford County resident Elroy Harrison, 65. In February of this year, the Department of Forensic Science reported the DNA was a match. After nearly four decades, the identity of the murder suspect had been revealed,” the release says.

READ NEXT: Pennsylvania Man, Justin Mohn, Accused in Father’s Murder