Investigators in Washington state recently used the same technique that earlier identified the suspected Golden State Killer. (You can read my earlier article about the “Golden State Killer” at http://bit.ly/2khfe4a.) Investigators have now used genetic genealogy to connect a 55-year-old Seattle area man to the rape and murder of a woman more than 30 years ago.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state said it was able to link William Earl Talbott II to the November 1987 slaying of Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, by matching DNA found at the crime scene to data in the public GEDmatch genealogy website.
The suspect previously did not have a criminal record and was unknown to law enforcement personnel. “He was never on any list law enforcement had, there was never a tip providing his name,” Snohomish County Sheriff’s Detective Jim Scharf said at a news conference, the Seattle Times reported. “If it hadn’t been for genetic genealogy, we wouldn’t be standing here today.”
It seems strange that a web site previously known only to a few genealogy DNA aficionados now has become one of the premier crime solving databases in the United States. Law enforcement officials nationwide are now using GEDmatch.com to help find relatives of murder suspects.
If you contributed your DNA information to GEDmatch.com, you may have helped identify a murderer or other violent criminal. Is that a good thing? Or is it an invasion of your personal information and the personal information of your relatives?