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ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has linked a subject to the 2002 murder of a 14-year-old girl.

Officials say the person responsible for murdering Erica Heather Smith 12 years ago committed suicide during the course of the investigation. The reason behind the subject's suicide is unclear.

"This announcement comes after a comprehensive review of the documentation and evidence collected over the past twelve years. Specifically, in the past two years, since the creation of the Cold Case initiative within the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, the case was worked with the intent of considering a broader perspective of the relationships developed and a meticulous review of the evidence collected," Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman said in a news release Friday.

Erica Heather Smith disappeared on July 29, 2002. Her body was found 11 days later in a grave along Broad Run Creek near an old pump house. The area is in Ashburn near the intersection of Beaumeade Circle and Loudoun County Parkway.

Chapman says he felt it was important to share the information with the Smith family as the as the twelfth anniversary of their daughter's murder approached.

Officials have not released specific information about the subject.

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