JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A Maryland man pleaded guilty Thursday to kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl in 1999 after DNA evidence and fingerprint technology helped solve the decades-old crime.
Timothy D. Nelson Jr. pleaded guilty in Johnstown, Pa. federal court and agreed to a deal, which will likely send him to prison for 30 years. He had been working as a health insurance analyst prior to his legal trouble.
Nelson admitted to the abduction of the girl in Cairnbrook, Pa.,—about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. After the kidnapping he took her to West Virginia and sexually assaulted her, WJAC-TV reported.
The lawyer of the Maryland man, Lyle Dresbold, said Nelson feels remorse and plans to express that at his sentencing next month.
FBI agent Robert Jones told reporters that the child helped investigators recover a discarded paper bag and napkins, which eventually linked Nelson to the crime. He said investigators recovered partial latent fingerprints, which matched those of Nelson when they were put through the FBI’s Next Generation Identification biometric database last fall.
“We brought Timothy Nelson Jr. to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Scott Brady at the conclusion of the hearing. “And through that, we were able to bring some measure of closure and finality—and yes, freedom—to this courageous young woman.”