Investigative Genetic Genealogy Being Used to Solve Cases

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Brian in Mesa, May 1, 2019.

  1. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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    DNA on cigarette butt leads to man's arrest for 1994 murder of 26-year-old mom

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crim...of-26-year-old-mom/ar-AAAM3TE?ocid=spartanntp

    Through the new investigative technique of genetic genealogy — and DNA left behind on a discarded cigarette butt — police have arrested a suspect in the 1994 murder of a 26-year-old mom.

    Audrey Hoellein was raped and murdered in July 1994, according to police in Vancouver, Washington, just outside of Portland. Hoellein was separated from her husband and her son was about 5-years-old at the time, according to police.

    DNA was left behind at the crime scene, police said, and several suspects were considered over the years, but they were eventually eliminated because their DNA did not match.

    Hoellein's father "thought he was going to go to his grave without any resolution as to what happened to his daughter," Vancouver police officer Dustin Goudschaal said at a news conference on Tuesday.

    (MORE: Young women murdered decades ago may finally find justice through new controversial DNA tool)
    But in 2018, police reached out to DNA lab Parabon to help create a composite image of the unknown suspect from the DNA left behind at the crimes scene. Analysts were able to predict traits of the killer, including his hair color and eye color, said police.

    Then, Parabon worked with the police department to use a new technique known as genetic genealogy to identify suspect Richard Knapp.

    This crime not only took away a sister from her two brothers, it left a mother and father without a daughter, and a young child without a mother.

    Through the new investigative technique of genetic genealogy, officials can take the DNA left behind at a crime scene and identify a suspect by tracing the family tree through his or her family members, who voluntarily submitted their DNA to public genealogy databases.

    This allows police to create a much larger family tree than using DNA submissions to law enforcement database CODIS, CeCe Moore, chief genetic genealogist with Parabon, told ABC News.

    The first public arrest through genetic genealogy was the April 2018 identification of the suspected "Golden State Killer." Since then, genetic genealogy has helped identify more than 40 suspects in violent crimes, Moore said.

    After genetic genealogy was used to pinpoint Knapp as a suspect, investigators staked him out and obtained DNA from a cigarette butt he left behind, police officials said. That recovered a DNA sample was sent to the Washington State lab to compare to the original DNA from the crime scene — and it was a match, said police.

    Knapp, 57, was arrested on Sunday during a traffic stop near his home, Goudschaal said.
     
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  2. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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    Young women murdered decades ago may finally find justice through new controversial DNA tool

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/young-women-murdered-decades-ago-finally-find-justice/story?id=61333683

    An 11-year-old girl, strangled to death in Southern California in 1973, her killer gone without a trace.

    A 27-year-old woman whose body was left in a shallow grave in South Lake Tahoe, California, in 1977.

    And yet another young victim, a 20-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted and killed with an electric cord in her Portland apartment in 1979.

    These are among the victims who suffered untimely and mysterious deaths decades ago whose loved ones have gotten closer to delayed justice this year through the novel investigative technique of genetic genealogy.

    In the first two months of 2019, suspects -- some of whom have already died -- were identified in at least six previously unsolved killings of young women and girls across the U.S. through the new, but controversial, technique.

    Genetic genealogy takes an unknown killer's DNA from a crime scene and identifies the suspect through his or her family members, who voluntarily submit their DNA to genealogy databases. This allows police to create a much larger family tree than using regular law enforcement databases, in which an exact match to the suspect is needed in most states, according to CeCe Moore, chief genetic genealogist with Parabon NanoLabs, which has worked on the majority of the cases.

    "We've been using these types of websites and technology for people of unknown parentage and people to learn more about their ancestry for about a decade. It's new to use it for crime scenes," Moore said. "Crime scene DNA is now being compared to the DNA of the people that have uploaded their DNA into these genealogy websites. And from that we can reverse engineer and help identify suspects in these cold cases."

    The first public arrest through genetic genealogy was in April with the identification of the suspected "Golden State Killer," a serial rapist and murderer who plagued California in the 1970s and 1980s and had been unidentified for decades.

    Since the suspected "Golden State Killer"'s arrest, genetic genealogy has helped identify more than three dozen suspects in violent crimes, said Moore.
     
  3. DutchmanAZ

    DutchmanAZ Registered

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    Fascinating technology
     
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  4. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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    Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) - not only being used to solve cold cases (Golden State Killer, April Tinsley in Fort Wayne, etc)- it is being used to overturn wrongful convictions and identify previously unknown remains.

    California man now free after DNA leads to new arrest in 1985 murder: "I miss this beautiful country"

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ricky-...g-almost-15-years-for-murder-he-didnt-commit/


    A California man said he was "just glad to be out," after spending 15 years behind bars for a murder he maintains he never committed. Ricky Davis was exonerated and set free on Thursday after his conviction was overturned thanks to new DNA evidence and help from the Northern California Innocence Project. He spoke to CBS News' Denise Poon exclusively just after his release from prison.

    Davis was sentenced to 16 years to life in 2005 for the 1985 murder of 54-year-old newspaper columnist Jane Hylton. She had been found stabbed 29 times inside the home she shared with her teenage daughter, Davis, and Davis' then-girlfriend.

    The Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert's office credits investigative genetic genealogy as the reason they were able to re-try the case. New technology that was not available at the time of Davis' conviction found male DNA on the victim's nightgown and under her fingernails that was not his.

    The investigative team built a family tree that led them to a new suspect, 51-year-old Michael Green, now in police custody. Authorities said Green was one of three teenagers who were with Hylton's daughter on the night of the murder. She is not considered a suspect, and helped officials identify Green.
     
  5. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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    DNA, genetic genealogy identifying bodies in decades-old John and Jane Doe cold cases

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/dna-gene...s-in-decades-old-john-and-jane-doe-cold-cases


    The same technique being used to catch cold case killers also is being used to identify unidentified cold case bodies.

    DNA and genetic genealogy has been transforming the way cold case murders are solved since its introduction in 2018.

    It also has transformed the way skeletal remains are identified in cases that have stumped investigators for decades.

    The nonprofit DNA Doe Project is focused solely on these types of cases and in the past 22 months their genealogist volunteers have named about two dozen John and Jane Doe victims. Recently, the list has grown with each passing week.

    Several cases listed at the link...
     
  6. Hollywood

    Hollywood is part black.

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    That's pretty cool

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