Christine Mirzayan had a promising future as a biochemist before she was bludgeoned to death in Georgetown, thelast known victim of a man known as the Potomac River Rapist.

The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Mirzayan had completed her doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco, and won a prestigious fellowship at the National Research Council for young scientists.

She had grown increasingly interested in the role of science in society and looked forward to a career that would allow her to use her scientific knowledge to address political and social problems.

Help catch a
killer serial rapist
A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered in the case of the Potomac River Rapist, who is believed to have attacked nine women in the Washington area in the 1990s.
> To contact D.C. police about the case: Call (202) 727-9099, text the tip line at 50411, or email
> To contact the FBI:Call (202) 278-2000 or submit a tip at

On the night of Aug. 1, 1998, the last week of her summer fellowship program, the 28-year-old Mirzayan was on her way home from a barbecue in Georgetown when she vanished. The next day her body was found in some woods off Canal Street near her Georgetown University dormitory. She suffered severe blows to the head and had been sexually assaulted.

Her killer was never found.

The same man is believed to have raped eight women in Maryland over a seven-year period before raping and killing Mirzayan. But police didn't know that the Potomac Rapist was her killer until 2006, when a DNA match was made. In December 2011, authorities reopened the case, and the FBI put up a website on the case. A $25,000 reward is being offered, and authorities have said they believe the killer could still be in the Washington area.

-- Scott McCabe