DNA, genetic genealogy made by 2018, the year of the cold case: ‘the Greatest crime-fighting breakthrough in decades”

connectVideoCold case investigator speaks Golden State Killer suspect

Enforcement of the law’s new collaboration with genetic genealogy made 2018 a year of profound impact on how-year-old cold case murders and rapes are investigated and resolved.

Detectives in the country said that they were able to find suspects in 27 cold cases this year after the uploading of crime scene DNA a public genealogy site, obtain a match and then the hiring of a genealogist to create pedigrees through painstaking research that ultimately led to a suspect.

CeCe Moore heads Parabon NanoLabs genetic genealogical unity and has used GEDMatch in 2018, to help the police as suspects in a number of cold cases.
(CeCe Moore)

In April, Sacramento police arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, as a suspect in the notorious Golden State Killer case, after finding DNA match with his third cousins in GEDmatch. DeAngelo, an ex-cop, is accused of committing more than 50 rapes, and 13 murders from 1974 to 1986.

Weeks later, Parabon NanoLabs in Virginia used GEDmatch to identify William Earl Talbott II, 55, as a suspect in the 1987 murder of a young Canadian couple, 20-year-old Jay Cook and 18-year-old Tanya Of Cuylenborg, According to a County in the state of Washington.


William Talbott II, 55, of Seattle, Wash. is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tanya From Cuylenborg, 18, and Jay Cook, 20, in 1987.
(Charles Biles/Skagit Valley Herald via AP)

Since Parabon said he has made use of the crime scene DNA and GEDmatch to identify suspects and persons of interests in 24 cold cases and a cold case, and turned the names over to law enforcement agencies that paid for the research. The names of the defendants in six of the cases have not yet publicly released, according to Parabon is Pamela Armentrout.

“The strength of this new partnership between genetic genealogy and enforcement of the law, has unlocked one of the largest, if not the largest, crime-fighting breakthroughs of the last decades,” Parabon genealogist CeCe Moore told Fox News. “And, it is not only for cold cases. The application of genetic genealogy in active cases is where the real potential of this cooperation will be unleashed.”

Tanya From Cuylenborg and Jay Cooking with the van, they drove to the United States, a bronze 1977 Ford Club wagon.
(According to County Sheriff’s Office)

In July, Moore helped the police in Fort Wayne, Ind., tear the 1988 murder and rape of the eight-year-old April Tinsley, who was found in a ditch three days after her abduction.

Moore used GEDmatch to create a family tree that narrowed the potential suspect to the two brothers.

One of the brothers, John Miller, 59, confessed when the police knocked on his door. He pleaded guilty Dec. 7 in exchange for a sentence of 80 years in prison.


Without going into detail, Moore said the genealogy search they performed to find Miller and his brother was a struggle.

“I felt like I was fighting through a dark jungle and I eventually came to the other side,” she said.


In Orlando, Fla., Moore and Parabon helped in the identification of Benjamin Holmes, Jr., 38, as a suspect in 2001 murder of Christine Franke. The 25-year-old woman was shot in the head in her apartment and robbed of $300 in tips she earned as a server at a cigar bar. The police found the murderer of sperm on Franke’s body.

“They (Parabon) told me that on the basis of the first findings indicate that there were family members in GEDmatch that is potentially promising, and we expect to produce usable information to work with,” said Michael Fields, the detective who arrested Holmes in November.


Fields said in a 72-page arrest affidavit obtained by Fox News that the relatives Parabon found in GEDmatch were a great nephew and a distant cousin of the defendant.

“A full family tree was created with the knowledge that can be obtained from public registers, obituaries, criminal records, police and interviews with well-known members of the family,” Fields says in the court document.

The statement goes on to say that Moore made nine branches of the family tree as part of her research. The family tree went all the way back to the great-great-grandparents.

Over the next few weeks, Moore compiled a list of possible suspects, and then began the judgment by a process of elimination.

Ultimately, it is the genealogist was left with only two possible suspects — Holmes and his brother, according to the affidavit.

Christine Franke’s wallet and cell was found by the police on the ground and appeared to have been opened and left on the floor “in accordance with the killer, goes through the wallet,” according to the arrest affidavit.
(Orlando police department.)

The document says that the researchers then visited their mother in Georgia who voluntarily agreed to give the police a DNA sample. Her husband, the father of Holmes and his brother, refused.

Fields said in the statement that the mother’s DNA sample was collected from the inside of her cheek.

The mother’s DNA confirmed that the two Holmes or his brother was the person who killed Franke, according to the affidavit.

In the end, the brother was excluded as a suspect after detectives obtained a DNA sample from him secretly, the affidavit says. An undercover offered a bottle of Gatorade for the brother that drank a few sips and then later threw it in a trash can. Other officers retrieved the discarded bottle.


Holmes DNA is obtained when the detectives conducting surveillance saw him throw a cigar he had been smoking and a can of beer he had drunk.

The cigar and the beer can were tested on DNA, which led to a match with the DNA from the crime scene, according to the affidavit.

“This case is proof that by combining genealogical analysis, forensic research and investigative expertise to law enforcement is a new tool in their belt to solve a lot of cases,” Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Richard Swearingen said after Holmes’ arrest.

The victim, the mother of Tina Franke said she hopes genetic genealogy to help crack cold cases to help other families like hers.

“We didn’t learn, until recently,” she said. “We had no face. We knew not what. The person may live around the corner from you and you don’t know.”

Joseph James DeAngelo makes his first appearance on the face of the charges of murder and rape, in Sacramento County Superior Court, April 27, 2018.
(Associated Press)

Approximately 1.2 million people have uploaded of their DNA profiles to GEDmatch, Curtis Rogers, the website of the founder, told Fox News. GEDmatch has offices in Lake Worth, Florida.

Rogers said GEDmatch users know law enforcement is the use of the website to search for matches to identify suspects in cold cases. Some have objected, ” he said.

“I’ve seen a handful that had a question, but that’s it,” he said.

Rogers said he is suppposed to be notified when a law enforcement agency uploads DNA GEDmatch, but admitted that it is not happened all the time. He said that he lets the police use of the website to examine are two kinds of crime–rape and murder.

“It is here to stay,” Rogers said. “It’s a whole new aspect for forensic science.”

Pam Felkins, 32, was abducted on Feb. 2, 1990 of a video store where she worked in Greenbrier, Ark.
(Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office)

In October, Parabon determined that a suspect in the 1990 rape and murder of a video store employee Pamela Felkins, 32, in Arkansas, with GEDmatch.

“Through the use of the unknown DNA of the family tree technique was used for the identification of Edward Renegar,” Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals said.


However, the researchers were not able to Renegar to the right. He died of natural causes in Utah in 2002.

The case remains open, Ryals said. Researchers are still not sure or Rengar acted alone.

Felkins died after being stabbed and bludgeoned. Her husband gives her missing when he went to the video store and she was not there. He found her cigarette still burning in an ashtray and her coffee still steaming in a cup. He thought that the use of the bathroom. Deputies found her body the next day.

Edward Keith Renegar drove a red 1984 B2200 Mazda Pickup with a white camper shell, police said. He also drove a mustard yellow, long wheelbase Ford pick-up, a small grey car, a Ford LTD.
(Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office)

“We were friends for 20 years and she has just your ordinary working mom devoted to her children, doing the best they could for them,” Carolyn Pratt, 61, of Vilonia, Ark., told Fox News.

She said that if it wasn’t for GEDmatch, Renegar never would have found.

“We are pleased that they were able to use it and bring it back to the tune of the suspect,” she said, adding: “It’s great they can use for the solving of a case. At least, it is used for a good cause.”

Cold case breakthroughs of 2018:April 25Joseph DeAngelo, 72Charged with the Golden State Killer, who is 50 rapes and 12 murders in the north of California, from 1974 to 1986.Can 21William Earl Talbott, 55Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the murder of a young Canadian couple in Accordance with County, Wash., in November, 1987.June 20Gary Hartman, 66Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the murder of 12-year-ol Michella Welch in Tacoma (Washington), March 1986.June 25Raymond Rowe, 49Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the murder of the 25-year-old Christy Mirack in Lancaster County, Pa., in 1992.June 25James Otto EarhartIdentified as the prime suspect in the murder of 40-year-old Virginia Freeman in rural Brazos County, Texas, in December 1980. Earhart was executed in 1999 for the kidnapping and murder of nine-year-old Kandy Kirtland in Brazos County in 1987.July 15John Dale Miller, 59Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the murder of eight-year-old April Tinsley Fort Wayne, Ind., in April, 1981. Miller pleaded guilty Dec. 7 in exchange for an 80-year prison sentence.July 18Matthew Dusseault, 20Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the stabbing death of 81-year-old Constance Gauthier in Woonsocket, R. I., in March 2016. The police also arrested an accomplice after Dusseault identification.July 28Spencer Monnett, 32Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the rape of a 79-year-old woman in her home in St. George, Utah, on April 17, 2018.Aug. 22Darold Bowden, 43Arrested and is charged with the identification of the Ramsey Street Rapist who the police said committed six rapes in Fayetteville, N. C., between March 2006 and January 2008.Aug. 29Michael Henslick, 30Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the murder of the 22-year-old Holly Cassano in Champaign County, Illinois, in November 2009.Sept. 14Marlon Alexander, 39Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the rape of four women in Montgomery County, Md., between 2007 and 2011.Sept. 19Luke Fleming, 39Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the rape and murder of the 47-year-old Deborah Dalzell in Sarasota, Florida, in March 1999.Sept. 21Roy Charles Waller, 58Arrested and is charged with the NorCal Rapist, who are at least 10 rapes in Northern California between 1991 and 2006.Oct. 5Robert BrashersLinked three murders and a rape. Authorities say he killed Genevieve Zitricki in Greenville, S. C., in 1990 and Sherri Scherer and her 12-year-old daughter, Megan, in Portageville, Mo., in 1998. The police said that he also of raping a 14-year-old girl in Memphis, Tenn., in 1997. Brashers killed himself in Kennett, Mo., in 1999, in a confrontation with the police investigating the theft of the number plate.Oct. 8Michael DeVaughn, 51Arrested as a suspect in the murder of a woman, 65-year-old Betty Jones, and the rape of another woman, 85-year-old Kathryn Crigler, in Starkville, Miss., in September of 1990. Crigler died in a nursing home a few months after the attack, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported.Oct. 29Edward RenegarIdentified as the main suspect of the rape and murder of the 32-year-old Pamela Felkins in the Faulkner County, Ark., in February of 1990. Renegar died of natural causes in Utah in 2002.Nov. 1Jerry Lee, 61Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the shooting death of the 28-year-old Lorrie Ann Smith, in Fulton County, Georgia, in May 1997.Nov. 2Fred Lee Frampton, Jr., 32Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the shooting death of 24-year-old Michael Temple, in a home invasion in Odenton, Md., in February of 2010. Nov. 5Benjamin Holmes, 38Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the rape and murder of the 25-year-old Christine Franke in Orlando, Fla., in October, 2001.Nov. 13David MabritoIdentified as a suspect in the murder of the 39-year-old Jodine Serrin in Carlsbad, California, in February 2007. The police said Mabrito, a transient, was killed in 2011.Nov. 21John Arthur Getreu, 74,Arrested after being identified as a suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Leslie Perlov in Santa Clara County in February 1973.Dec. 12Christopher Quinn Williams, 35Arrested after being identified as a suspect in multiple burglaries since October 2015. The police said the thief broke into the homes of the women and caressed them as she slept.Also Parabon reports that it has identified suspects in six cases, but the law enforcement agencies handling these cases has not released the names public.

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