Genealogists Turn to DNA and Family Trees to Crack Five More Cold Cases

A few weeks ago, any mention of using DNA matches to identify long-unsolved murders created headlines around the world. This crime-solving technique has become popular so quickly that it might not even rate a mention in today’s newspapers. It’s happening everywhere!

An article by Heather Murphy in the New York Times briefly mentions 4 murders and one suicide that have produced new evidence in the past few days from GEDmatch.com‘s DNA matching service. The same article also prominently describes the efforts of CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist now working with Parabon, a forensic consulting firm, and a person well-known to genealogists who use DNA in their family tree research efforts.

You can read the article at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/science/dna-family-trees-cold-cases.html.

7 Comments

Wait until they charge someone wrongly based on limited DNA data. They will spoil their credibility.

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I, for one, am so glad they are using it! The police and DA’s office have been working this local Lancaster Co. PA Christy Mirack cold case for 26 years and never gave up. The DNA match on the website was with a close relative who is living just a few miles from where the victim was murdered. DNA was collected from chewing gum and a water bottle the suspect used when he was recently working as a DJ at a local elementary school event. That DNA matched with DNA left at the scene of the murder and the suspect was arrested this week.
This has been a LONG time coming … hopefully justice will now be served for Christy Mirack ❤️ Perhaps she can now rest in peace ~

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Unfortunately I can’t access the NY Times article without a subscription!

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    Clear your cache. I didn’t have problem accessing the article on first try. Always clear cache regularly so you can access certain articles without much ado.

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Using DNA matches alone does not suffice for charging an individual of a crime. I am comfortable with using DNA matches as a tool to identify possible candidates for further investigation. It is this follow on work that is necessary before a criminal is firmly identified for prosecution.

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    RE: the Christy Mirack murder, Raymond Charles Rowe was not arrested because of that DNA match alone, but it matched a person living just a few miles from where the victim was killed (and only 10 or so miles from me). Law enforcement then collected his DNA, tested it, and it matched DNA from the crime scene. “On May 31, after undercover investigation at Smoketown Elementary School where Rowe was working as a DJ, investigators obtained DNA from chewing gum and a water bottle Rowe used while working.
    The DNA comparison from those items to Mirack’s body and carpet matched, giving investigators what they needed to make an arrest.”
    https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/06/police_announce_arrest_in_1992.html

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If I was murdered I would want any available DNA to be used to catch the killer.

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