Investigative Genetic Genealogy For Law Enforcement

Have You Heard The News? Genetic Genealogy Is Making Headlines And You Can Be Too!

1984 Cold Case Murder Solved By The FBI Using Forensic Genetic Genealogy 

Homicide 1984- Suspect Charged 2022

Mary Jane Thompson's alleged killer was arrested almost 38 years to the day she was found murdered behind a warehouse in Dallas. Thanks to Forensic Genetic Genealogy and the DOJ SAKI grant, the case that was reopened in 2009 after going "cold" was solved. Edward Morgan, 60, is now facing charges. Learn more:

45 Year Old Case Involving Veteran Finally Solved

Homicide 1976- Body Found Unidentified 2019 - Suspect Charged 2021

George Seitz waited a long time for justice but now it is finally working it's way through the system. Seitz was last seen in 1976 but portions of his body were not found until 2019, and he remained unidentified. Once identified, the NYPD and the Queens DA were able to uncover evidence indicating Martin Motta may be responsible. Learn more:

2007 Pennsylvania Dumpster Death Of Baby Mary Anne Solved Using Genetic Genealogy

Homicide 1993 - Mother Arrested 2021

It might have taken 14 years, but DNA doesn't lie and it doesn't change where you come from. Detectives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania were able to use the DNA from the deceased infant to find her mother, who has been charged with the crime. Baby Mary Anne, it is reported, was found deceased and discarded in a dumpster. Her mother, Tara Brazzle, has been charged.  Learn more:

Montana Asking For Search Warrants For DNA Relative Searching

DNA Genetic Genealogy Law  2021

As of this writing, it appears that Montana will require a Search Warrant, issued on probable cause, for law enforcement to access and search databases utilizing Genetic Genealogy. I am currently reviewing. Learn more:

Is The State Of Maryland Appears Making It Harder For Cops To Clear Cases?

DNA Genetic Genealogy Law Effective October 2021

As of this writing, I am still reviewing the most recent language from the Maryland Legislature regarding the use of Genetic Genealogy. It looks like per 17-102, they require judicial approval to authorize the Forensic Genetic Genealogy use. The use of GG would be applicable for the "commission of, or the attempt to commit, murder, rape, a felony sexual offense, or a criminal act involving circumstances presenting a substantial and ongoing threat to public safety or national security." The law also appears to indicate that a CODIS matching has been attempted and failed to deliver same. It also appears to require that the "crime being investigated presents an ongoing threat to public safety or national security" and that "reasonable investigative leads have been pursued and failed to identify the perpetrator." It says that the use of commercial databases are possible if the company provides "explicit notice" to its users and seeks "acknowledgement and consent from its service users" as described in Section 1 of this subsection. It also appears to require the genome extraction laboratory to be licensed by the Office of Health Care Quality. I am currently reviewing. 
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1993 Sexual Assault In Alaska Finally Results In An Arrest

Sexual Assault 1993 - Suspect Arrested 2021

In January of 1993, the Ketchikan Police Department had the unfortunate task of investigating the sexual assault of a 14-year old female just adjacent to the local high school. Attempts at solving the stranger to victim case were not successful and the case went cold. In 2004, a genetic profile was able to be developed and the information entered into the CODIS system. No matches resulted. In 2018, as the result of funding by the Alaska State Legislature, untested sexual assault kits were now being tested and a kit from another crime had similarities to this case and they had a potential suspect, Michael J. Williams. The evidence from the two cases were compared to a confirming sample and Mr. Williams was arrested.  Learn more:

Denver, Colorado Murder From 1994 Is Finally Solved Using DNA

Homicide 1994 - Suspect Arrested 2021

A Denver hotel room was unfortunately the final resting place for Rita Desjardine in December of 1994. The case went cold until 2018 when DNA from the crime scene linked suspect Steven Cumberbatch. His description matched that of the one reported by witnesses at the time of the crime. A grant from the US Department of Justice has provided additional resources to the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney's Office to prepare this case for trial and arrest and extradite Cumberbatch from Virginia.  Learn more:

Portland, Oregon Cold Case Names Found Deceased Baby Boy

Body Found1963 - Identified in 2021

Little Stevie Crawford has been known as "Boy In A Bundle" for a long time. His body was found in the Keene Creek, in Oregon, wrapped up and floating in the river. They were unable to identify him and he was buried in a grave in the Hillside Cemetery in Medford, Oregon. Flash forward to 2008 when detectives exhumed the boy's body to get DNA. They patiently waited and nothing came back until now. The DNA was used in the Genetic Genealogy process and matched to relatives. They stated the boy had Down Syndrome and Stevie's mother indicated the boy would not be a problem after returning from a trip. The mom has since died. Stevie's family will be obtaining his remains and taking him to New Mexico to be buried in the family plot. Learn more:

Voluntary DNA Database Submission Solve A Cold Case For Sexual Battery In Tampa, Florida

Sexual Assault 2007 - Suspect Arrested 2021 

When Jared Vaughn submitted his DNA for ancestral testing, he probably forgot about that old sexual assault. Or, maybe he didn't realize the power of DNA - like I love to say, DNA doesn't lie! The police in Tampa, Florida had DNA but nothing to match it with. In 2020, they thawed the cold case and utilized Genetic Genealogy to find the match. Detectives went to West Virginia to obtain a confirming sample and yes, they got their guy!  Learn more:

Gray's County, Washington Cold Case Arrest May Be Tied To Another Crime

Sexual Assault & Kidnapping 2003 - Suspect Arrested 2021 With New Crime Link

Paul Bieker was arrested for a sexual assault and kidnapping that occurred in 2003.  The Gray's County Sheriff's Office initially found that DNA from the scene did not match any profiles in the national criminal database (most likely CODIS). In December of 2020 they took the DNA for new testing and were able to match it to some suspects (assuming using Genetic Genealogy). Bieker was one of the suspects and they found he had lived in the area during the time in question. They were able to confirm a match with discarded DNA and have arrested him. Based on similarities in the case, police are looking at Bieker for the kidnapping and murder of Lindsey Baum who went missing in the same town in 2009.  Learn more:

Innocence Declared As A Result Of Genetic Genealogy - A Case That Hits Home!

Homicide 1982 - Innocence Declared 2021

Charles Fain was arrested for the murder of Daralyn Johnson and had his conviction overturned through the use of DNA and Genetic Genealogy. This case hits home for me because the name of Daralyn came up when a pretty close match showed up in my FTNDA results about two or more years ago. Talk about freaking out - I still have not determined the relationship of what has to be the new suspect but it's important to know how DNA is SO important about getting the actual person who committed the crime. Charles Fain has been granted compensation from the State of Idaho along with his actual innocence. Learn more:

Woman Found In Swamp In Jackson County, Mississippi Finally Identified

Homicide 1991 - Suspect At Large As Of 2021

Kimberly Ann Funk was 21 years old when she went missing in 1990/1991. Her family longed for answers and they finally got them thanks to Genetic Genealogy. Although not what they wanted to hear, Funk's family finally knows what happened to her and investigators are searching for her killer. Funk's body was found in the Ward Bayou and Funk, who went by the name of "Star" went missing in 1990. Investigators are now seeking her killer:  Learn more:

Liberty County Texas Ranger Takes Over Genetic Genealogy Investigations

Homicide 1995 - Suspect Arrested 2021

Ranger Roger Brandon Bess is newly assigned to the agency's unsolved crimes investigation program. Bess was recently able to identify a suspect in the death of Mary Catherine Edwards who died in 1995. Bess used Genetic Genealogy to solve that case, and has solved three others.  Learn more:

Cascade County Sheriff's Office, Montana - Solve Double Homicide With Genetic Genealogy

Homicide 1956 - Deceased Suspect Identified 2021

The long-standing 65-year-old double murder of Patricia Kalitzke and Lloyd Duane Bogle has now been solved through the use of DNA. In 2021 Genetic Genealogy was utilized to match to family members of Great Falls, Montana past resident Kenneth Gould, who died in 2007. This was an interesting case because at one time, investigators were looking at the infamous James Joseph Whitey Bulger, among other suspects. What a great result to bring closure to these cases. Learn more:

Montgomery County, Texas - Cold Case Murder Solved Through The Use of DNA And Genetic Genealogy

Homicide 1983 - Suspect Arrested 2021

In 1983 the body of Laura Purchase was found burning in a field in Montgomery County, Texas on March 17th.  Purchase had been reported missing from Houston. Henry Lee Lucas originally confessed to the crime in 1983 and was convicted in 1986. In 2007 the Sheriff's Office submitted DNA and Lucas and a partner were found not to be responsible. In 2019, Investigators used DNA and Genetic Genealogy which pointed to Thomas Elvin Darnell as a suspect. This match was confirmed and Darnell arrested in Kansas in 2021.  Learn more: 

Yerrington, Nevada - Body Identified As Missing Murdered Man Through The Use of DNA And Genetic Genealogy

Homicide 1991 -Missing Person Identified 2021

The body of an unknown deceased male was found by outdoor enthusiasts in the Sand Canyon in rural Nevada. Until recently  he was known as "Sand Canyon John Doe." The Lyons County Sheriff's Office was able to obtain a DNA profile and with the use of Genetic Genealogy, identify the male as Vincent Trapp. The Sheriff's Office says that Trapp, originally from Sacramento, was living in the Topaz Ranch Estates in Douglas County at the time of his death. They are seeking clues to his killer. Learn more: 
North Palm Beach, Florida - Killing Of Leo Beauregard Solve Through The Use Of Genetic Genealogy
Homicide 1990 - Solved 2021

The cold case homicide of Beauregard occurred in his home on June 29, 1990. At the time of the murder, a beer can was recovered from the crime scene. Information at the scene noted the suspected killer, Mark Steven Gribbin, who was later confirmed through DNA and Genetic Genealogy. The Palm Beach County State's Attorney is currently prosecuting Gribbin. Learn more: 

Naperville Police Department - Naperville, Illinois Cold Case Murder Of Julie Ann Hanson Solve With The Use Of Genetic Genealogy
Homicide 1981 - Solved 2021

The cold case murder of then 15-year old Chicago area teenager Julie Ann Hanson has been solved using DNA and genetic genealogy. Hanson had been missing since she was last seen riding her brother's bike on July 8, 1972. The suspect, Barry Lee Whelpley, now 76, lived within a mile of the girl's home. Whelpley has been charged in her killing by the Will County State Attorney's Office. Read more: 

Pulaski County Sheriff's Office - Waynesville, Missouri Jane Doe Identified as Karen Kay Knippers
Found 1981 - Solved 2021

A body of an unidentified woman was found in southern Missouri on May 25, 1981. She was buried as a Jane Doe and in 2015 her body was exhumed to retrieve DNA. In 2019 a potential relative match was located and later testing revealed Jane Doe - now known as Karen Kay Knippers - was in fact his sister. Her case is now being investigated as a homicide. For more information:

Maps Courtesy of GIS Geology