FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA) --- August 19th is the 28th anniversary of the Manassas murder of Virginia State Police Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman, who was stabbed more than 40 times when he answered the front door of his home, shortly after four in the morning, to an assailant who claimed to be a representative of a power company.
After stabbing Bowman, the assailant ran away, never to be caught.
Virginia State Police, The Manassas City Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have contributed to a new, $50,000 reward fund, hoping the money will remind potential witnesses of the crime and help to convince them to come forward.
"Absolutely, there is reason for optimism. We believe there is someone out there that can provide that little piece of the puzzle, and we want the public to be aware of that, no matter how small that piece of information is that they possess, we want them to provide that to us," said Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael Elliott.
The assailant left evidence behind: a wig, a construction hard hat,a pair of eyeglasses, and bloody footprints. The evidence was examined closely during the initial investigation, but science has progressed markedly in the 28 years since the stabbing.
"We've been conducting DNA testing since the 1990s in the case and we have been re-submitting some samples of evidence and for re-analysis, and we have been submitting some samples for being analyzed the first time, " Elliott told 9News.
Bowman's daughter, age two at the time of her father's death, has established a Facebook page in his honor, soliciting stories about her dad from his friends, and urging potential witnesses to come forward.
The Virginia State Police tip line is 703-803-2637.