Officers reheat cold murder case

Jacqueline Lard saw to it that her two children were safely in the care of a neighbor before returning to her Stafford County real estate office to work late.

Her husband, a Drug Enforcement Administration employee, was away on a trip and was expected back within a few days.

Sometime after 9 on that November night in 1986 someone paid a visit to her office at 306 Garrisonville Road, police detectives believe.

Two days later, two teen-agers discovered Lard’s body rolled inside some carpet at a makeshift dump off U.S. 1 in Prince William County. She had been severely beaten and strangled, the autopsy showed.

Her car, a new Nissan Stanza, was found a week later. It was in the parking lot of Alexandria’s Bren Mar Apartments.

The case of the 40-year-old Aquia Harbour resident was never solved.

But 16 years later, Stafford Detective Jeffrey DeBoard, who investigates old or so-called “cold cases” for that county’s Sheriff’s Office, and Detective Sammy Newsome, who investigates such cases for the Prince William County Police Department, are working the case again.

DeBoard and Newsome recently sent evidence to the Virginia Division of Forensic Science Laboratory in Richmond and are awaiting a report. They would not be specific about what the evidence was or where it was obtained.

One of the persons interviewed by detectives early in the investigation is still a suspect and is serving a life sentence at the Jessup State Prison Annex in Maryland.

Richard Wayne Ferguson, now 38 and a Fredericksburg resident at the time of the abduction and murder, was working on a paving project near Mount Vernon Realty the day Lard disappeared. But “he had an alibi,” says one of the detectives currently probing the case.

Seven months after Lard’s death, Ferguson was charged with the abduction and malicious stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at Falmouth Beach. He pleaded guilty to the malicious wounding, but the abduction charge was dropped.

He was sentenced to five years. His residence before being imprisoned was a rental property two blocks from the Mary Washington College campus.

Two years later, on Oct. 4, 1989, Ferguson was turned over to the state of Maryland where he was tried in Calvert County on charges of murder, rape and 11 other crimes.

He entered a guilty plea on the murder charge with the understanding that the rape charge would be dropped. He was sentenced to life in prison.

His victim was 15-year-old Pamela Boarman, who disappeared Aug. 29, 1985. Her remains were found enclosed in materials in the basement of a Chesapeake Beach motel 30 months after she was killed. The prosecutor claimed Ferguson was living at the motel at the time of Boarman’s death.

Ferguson is not eligible for parole.

DeBoard says Lard’s husband was out of the country at the time of his wife’s death. Newspapers at the time reported he was on assignment in Southeast Asia.

He subsequently moved from Stafford but is aware that the investigation is continuing, DeBoard said.

In the weeks following the discovery of her body, Prince William County police, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration formed a task force to investigate the case.

The task force operated for nearly three years, interviewing more than six dozen people in Stafford and Prince William counties and in Alexandria.

Lard had been employed by the real estate office for six months and once was “Salesman of the Month.” Staff members attended a memorial service for her at Stafford Baptist Church.

“She was a very nice person who everyone liked a considerable amount,” her office manager for Mount Vernon Realty, Edgar “Butch” Wimmer, is quoted as saying in newspaper accounts of the time.

Others who knew her expressed the same feelings.

“I don’t know of an enemy Jackie had in the world,” said Babs Frields, a family friend.

“She was such a joy. She always had a smile on her face,” said fellow sales agent Robert Spence.

Police agencies ask that anyone with information concerning Lard’s death should contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department or the Prince William County Police Department.

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