Can advanced DNA testing crack ongoing 1998 Strasburg homicide, abduction case?

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July 27, 1998 marks 23 years since a 10-week-old baby girl disappeared and her mother was violently murdered at their apartment in the Town of Strasburg.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Culpeper Field Office is awaiting results from new, advanced DNA testing utilized as part of the still ongoing criminal investigation.

“As technology has changed and advanced, so have our tactics in working to solve these tragic crimes,” said Capt. John A. Defilippi, VSP BCI Culpeper Field Office commander. “The DNA testing will provide additional information that will greatly aid us with advancing this case. But, we are still encouraging anyone with information related to Allyson’s disappearance and Sylena’s death to still come forward with information.”

The infant, Allyson Kathleen Dalton, was last seen at approximately 7:45 a.m. on July 27, 1998, at her mother’s second-floor apartment in the 100 block of Charles Street in Strasburg. She was with her mother, Sylena Jo Dalton, at the time.

Later that same day, at 2:25 p.m., one of the mother’s coworkers found 20-year-old Sylena stabbed to death on a couch inside the residence. Allyson was unaccounted for and has not been seen since that morning.

Investigators believe Sylena was killed between 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., that morning of July 27, 1998. Neighbors told police that no screams were heard, nor was there any disturbance made that morning at the apartment.

No murder weapon was found at the scene.

Allyson’s father, Daniel E. Pompell, told state police agents he stopped at the residence on the morning of the murder. Witnesses confirmed seeing him outside the apartment with a bundle under his arm.

In a press release, State Police noted Pompell’s continued cooperation related to the ongoing investigation as they persist in its efforts to still locate his infant daughter.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact VSP Senior Special Agent Mike Jones at (540) 829-7400 or by email at

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