JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Maryland man pleaded guilty Thursday to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a Somerset County child nearly 20 years ago.
On September 19, 1999, then 30-year-old Timothy David Nelson Jr. kidnapped a child in Cairnbrook, Pennsylvania. Nelson drove three hours from the abduction site into West Virginia, where he sexually assaulted the child.
After driving back into Pennsylvania, Nelson kicked the girl out of the car where she was later discovered by a couple driving. Scott Brady, U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, says the girl led police back to the crime scene.
“At that location, they recovered several items which we later discovered had DNA and partial latent fingerprints,” Brady said.
The fingerprints weren’t a match to anyone and it wasn’t until the fall of 2018 when new technology helped investigators match the D.N.A. from the 1999 case to Nelson Jr. Police also matched the D.N.A. to two separate kidnapping and sexual assaults back in 1988 and 1989.
In January of 2019, Nelson Jr. was arrested for the crimes. Thursday he pleaded guilty.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jeff Brock, who was one of the original officers to investigate the case, says closure after so long means the most.
“Most importantly is bringing closure for the three victims that were in these cases…we’re very very happy, a great day for law enforcement.”
The plea will keep Nelson behind federal bars for 30 years with no chance for parole.
Nelson Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced on August 27.