A $50,000 reward is being offered for information in the 1984 unsolved murder of a Virginia state trooper.
Johnny Bowman was off duty when he was stabbed to death inside his Manassas home 28 years ago. Investigators say they have a DNA profile, but need a name to connect it to.
When Bowman was murdered in August of 1984, the killer left behind several items that have perplexed investigators for years. Was it a disguise or a ruse to throw off the police? Did the man know the trooper and what motivated the crime? They are all questions investigators are still trying to answer nearly three decades after the attack.
Bowman was off duty and in his pajamas when someone rang the bell at the front door of his Manassas townhouse just after 4 a.m. on August 19, 1984.
"The attack was brutal," said Detective Michael Elliott with Virginia State Police. "Trooper Bowman was stabbed over 40 times in the foyer of his home within a short period of time."
Bowman's brother, who was in the house, heard the commotion and briefly saw the attacker who left behind a hard hat, a wig and a pair of non-prescription glasses. He described the killer as a black male.
Investigators also say the killer said a few words before launching the assault.
"It was a statement to the effect, ‘Hi, I'm from the (expletive) power company' and then Trooper Bowman was immediately attacked," said Detective Elliott.
What has never been established is a motive -- a fact that haunts the trooper's daughter who spoke with FOX 5 in 2004.
"Every night before bed, just random times, that's all I think about," said Nikki Bowman. "It's stuff like that. It's also hard looking in the mirror when you look exactly like him. It's been 20 years now and I still don't know who did it, so I just want it to be done with."
Detective Elliott says he works the case every day and if someone came forward with a name, he may be able to solve the case.
He confirms the DNA evidence has already ruled some people out.
"They can come forward anonymously if they wish," said Detective Elliott. "But of course, we would prefer they provide the information so we know who we are talking to and dealing with. But yeah, there are people out there with information that will solve this case and we are asking them to come forward."
Virginia State Police would not say where the DNA was recovered, but advancements in technology allow investigators to now obtain DNA evidence from anything that absorbs sweat or on items that may have retained skin cells years after it was left behind.
Trooper Bowman's daughter, Nikki, was just two years old when he was killed. She is still wondering who and why.
The FBI came up with the money for the reward which stands at $50,000. If you think you can help solve this case, call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the Virginia State Police tipline at 703-803-2637.