James Essel PHOTO | MCPD

Police Need Your Help to Solve Homicide, a Cold Case from 1992 (PHOTOS)

James Essel PHOTO | MCPD

James Essel PHOTO | MCPD

Montgomery County police officers are asking for your help to solve a homicide, and it’s considered a cold case because it occurred 24 years ago on March 22, 1992.

That’s when police said James Essel was stabbed inside the Sugarloaf Mountain Market at 23800 Old Hundred Road in Comus.

Police believe the murder occurred between the hours of 5:30-6 p.m. on the same evening.

Detectives have established the following facts during their investigation:

  • James Essel was the owner of the Sugarloaf Mountain Market and detectives believed that he was stabbed to death inside the store during an apparent robbery.
  • Evidence at the crime scene indicated that Essel struggled with the unknown suspect during the apparent robbery. Police said recovered blood evidence supported that the suspect sustained an injury during the struggle.
  • Detectives obtained a DNA profile of the suspect’s blood that was left at the scene. The DNA profile was entered into a national database in 1992 but as of yet, there has been no match.
  • A witness observed a black, Pontiac Fiero in the parking lot of the store during the time frame the murder occurred.
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Sugarloaf Mountain Market PHOTO | MCPD

Investigators have reason to believe that the suspect was known to the area and may have been a prior customer to the store. Detectives also have reason to believe that the suspect possibly smoked Marlboro or Marlboro Light cigarettes.

With the new release of the information available about this unsolved case, detectives are hoping someone may remember something that they did not think was important to report to police in 1992. Anyone with information regarding suspect(s) or any other details that might advance this investigation is urged to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240.773.5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1.866.411.TIPS (8477).

Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.

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