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DNA and genetic genealogy for the first time ever, and have helped to exonerate a man who was convicted of a murder he did not commit.
Christopher Tapp,, 42, spent 20 years in prison for complicity in the rape and murder of an 18-year-old Angie Dodge in the Idaho Falls, Idaho, in 1996, a crime of which he is unjustly famous.
“I’m so grateful that I have been given this second chance at life,” Tapp told the judge at his discharge hearing on Wednesday, according to East Idaho News. “I’ve wasted 20 years of my life, which is something I never did.”
Christopher Tapp, right, and public defender, John Thomas Tapp hearing on Wednesday in the Idaho Falls, Idaho. (Taylor) Carpenter/Post-Register through the AP, Pool)
IDAHO MAN ARRESTED FOR THE 1996 RAPE AND MURDER, AND THAT IT TOOK ANOTHER MAN TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON
The scene of the crime, and DNA is uploaded to a public genealogy site GEDMatch has led to the arrest in May, Brian (Dripps Sr. 53, and, for the avoidance of the killing. He lived on the other side of the street from her, on the night of the murder.
Dripps said he acted alone, and police believe him or not, Bonneville County prosecuting attorney, Daniel Clark, said during the hearing.
Angie Dodge, 18, was killed in 1996.
(Idaho Falls Police)
“There is no doubt that there are inadequacies in the criminal justice system, and I think that this is the case, it is a testament to that,” Clark said.
Tapp was released from prison in 2017, when the crime scene evidence with the DNA, to the East Idaho News reported. The murder conviction was still going, that was for sure.
The arrest of the “Golden State Killer” last year in California, and with the help of DNA and the genetic genealogy has led to the technology being used in dozens of cold-case homicides and rapes in the country, and that the police were not able to solve this with more traditional techniques.
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“The light has to shine in one way or another,” by Greg Hampikian, director of the Idaho Innocence Project, told BuzzFeed News. “It has to be gold in the future, in order to find the criminals, and it does seem in the past where there has been a miscarriage of justice.”
Genealogist CeCe Moore is broken in the Dodge case, and after a phone call from the mother of the victim, BuzzFeed on Thursday has been reported. She has created a family tree after finding out a distant relative of the Dripps on GEDMatch.
Mugshot for Brian (Dripps.
(Canyon County Sheriff’s Office)
Carol Dodge, had grown convinced that Tapp had nothing to do with her daughter’s murder.
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“This is, literally, a broken family, as if he were a piece of glass,” she said, according to The New York Times on Friday. “There is no way for you to pick up the pieces.”