New charges: Rice blamed for highway abduction

A man once charged in the 1996 slayings of a lesbian couple in the Shenandoah National Park was indicted Monday in the 1996 abduction of a woman in Prince William County.

A grand jury returned indictments for Darrell David Rice on charges of abduction with intent to defile, robbery and malicious wounding.

Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert said the June 7 indictment of Rice stemmed from the police investigation of "the Route 29 stalker," the man police believe was responsible for the killing of Alicia Showalter Reynolds. Police suspect the same man tried to flag down more than two dozen women along the highway in 1996.

Reynolds, 25, was abducted March 2, 1996, from her car on U.S. 29 in Culpeper County. Her body was found in a shallow grave in the county's Lignum area two months later, on May 7.

A federal judge in Charlottesville dropped charges in February against Rice, 36, in the 1996 slayings of hikers Julianne "Julie" Marie Williams of Minnesota and Laura "Lollie" S. Winans of Maine after DNA evidence cast doubt on the case.

In Prince William, Rice was indicted in the abduction of a 38-year-old woman on state Route 234. Police say a woman stopped her car about midnight on Feb. 26, 1996, after a man repeatedly flashed his lights and honked his horn at her. The man convinced her that sparks were coming from her car and that it was unsafe to drive it, police said.

The man offered the woman a ride, and once she was in the vehicle attempted to assault her, police said. The woman escaped but suffered a broken ankle and other injuries.

Rice is serving a prison sentence of about 11 years in the 1997 attempted abduction of a bicyclist in Shenandoah National Park.

Ebert said Rice faces a maximum of three life sentences if convicted of all counts in Prince William County.

Could Rice, the subject of a 2002 Hook cover story, have killed Alicia Showalter Reynolds? "I think he's linked to that crime," Ebert tells the Hook .

the Hook May 18, 2002