A man accused of being the East Coast Rapist will go on trial in Prince William County Circuit Court, thanks, in part, to an anonymous tip last year to Prince George’s County Crime Solvers.
Aaron Thomas, 40, was apprehended in March 2011 and allegedly is linked to attacks on 17 women in Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut dating back to 1997, the Gazette reported.
Zel Windsor, who has led the county’s Crime Solvers for the past five years, was named the region’s “Coordinator of the Year” during an annual Crime Solvers conference.
“I really like working with detectives and multiple jurisdictions,” Windsor told the Gazette. “You’re closing cases, meeting new people and meeting with family members who may have lost someone in a crime."
The Gazette reported that Windsor is the one who took the call that provided the tip on the East Coast Rapist, which she said was a high point in her career.
Windsor told the Gazette that she held about four days of back-and-forth calls with the anonymous caller until law enforcement had enough to make an arrest.
Crime Solvers is also in the process of creating program to educate and increase awareness among young people.
“Kids know what’s going on in schools and in the community,” Windsor told the Gazette. “They’re going to grow up and become our community base. The ultimate goal would be to show them that if you hear something, here is an avenue.”