An Arrest Was Finally Made Almost 25 Years After Leslie Preer Was Murdered — What Happened?

An arrest in connection to the 2001 murder of Leslie Preer has shocked everyone, but mostly her daughter who knows the suspect.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 24 2024, Published 7:10 p.m. ET

When Fox 5 DC spoke with Lauren Preer in June 2024 about an arrest made in connection with her mother's murder, Lauren said it had been a "hell of a day." Obviously the idea of possibly finding the person who killed her mother in 2001 would be overwhelming, but this story has an added layer that feels more like a Lifetime movie than anything else.

What happened to Leslie Preer? It could be ripped from the pages of a novel.

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What happened to Leslie Preer?

The Washington Post reported that when Preer didn't show up for work on May 2, 2001, a co-worker reached out to her family. After getting the call, Preer's husband Carl returned home from his job. When he walked into their house, he was met with a gruesome scene in the upstairs bathroom. His wife's body was in the shower. She was facing down, with her legs outstretched. Police believed the person who did it had tried to clean her up.

(L-R): Leslie Preer; Lauren Preer
Source: YouTube/Fox 5 DC (video still)

(L-R): Leslie Preer; Lauren Preer

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Bruising on Preer's neck indicated she had been strangled while multiple contusions on the back of her head suggested her head had been bashed against something. The investigators, who were were able to match the head injuries with the sharp edges of the home's baseboard molding, believed Preer's head had been "battered onto the foyer floor." There was also blood on the walls and floor next to the front door.

They concluded that the injuries occurred downstairs. The perpetrators then carried Preer's body upstairs so they could attempt to wash it. DNA samples were collected, including skin found under her fingernails. It was obvious Preer tried to fight back. Unfortunately the samples from her fingernails didn't match any men she knew. Before long her murder became a cold case until a break occurred in 2022.

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The DNA sample lead authorities to a man named Eugene Gligor, who is now in custody.

In 2022 investigators uploaded the DNA sample they had to an ancestry research database in order to use genetic genealogical analysis. It was linked to the last name Gligor, which might have gotten police nowhere had detective Tara Augustin not recalled a tip submitted in 2002 about a man named Eugene Gligor. On Jan. 30, 2002, someone anonymously reported that the then-21-year-old Gligor was somehow related to Preer's murder.

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All that was needed now was a sample of Gligor's DNA which is how police ended up following the now-44 year-old Gligor through Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, in June 2024. After spotting him take a sip from a water bottle that he then threw away, police were able to collect it and test the DNA. it was a match. U.S. Marshalls arrested him in Washington, D.C., on June 18. He is currently awaiting trial, and according to ABC 7, he was "ordered to remain locked on a no-bond status."

What makes this case even more wild is the fact that Gligor dated Preer's daughter when they were 15 years old, reported USA Today.

Lauren told Fox 5 DC that she ran into Gligor at a restaurant in D.C. in 2023. "He didn’t seem weird," she said. "How you could look someone in the eye and know that you committed this crime and act like nothing happened is pretty unreal."

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