DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect

DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect  title=
DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect
10 Comments
Reads 3694

Detectives used DNA-matching information from genealogy websites to find the man they believe is the Golden State Killer, according to the Sacramento District Attorney's office.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi confirmed that investigators used crime scene DNA and matched it to a relative who was registered on genealogy websites that accept DNA samples to provide family heritage information and narrowed down possible suspects using that person's family history, reports CNN.

It was not reported which genealogy websites might have been involved, although four companies contacted by CNN denied having any connection to the case. Ancestry, Vitagene, MyHeritage and 23andMe said they didn't provide customer information to law enforcement officials.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested Tuesday evening in a Sacramento suburb after more than four decades when detectives matched his DNA to evidence from the investigation.

DeAngelo is accused of being the serial killer (also named the Golden State Killer, East Area Rapist, and Original Night Stalker) who killed 12 people and raped more than 50 women in the 1970s and 1980s throughout California. Four of the murders took place in Goleta, and two in Ventura. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday for the murder of Katie and Brian Maggiore in 1978 within Sacramento County. He's being held without bail.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the detectives would find family trees that appeared to be a match to DNA they had for the Golden State Killer and they would look at the people listed on the tree and see whether any of them could be a suspect.

Detectives matched a discarded DNA sample from his home to DNA evidence from the investigation, authorities said Wednesday.

DeAngelo's home in Citrus Heights
 
Neighbors have reported him to be a bit of recluse but had at least 3 daughters. "Far as I had known, his daughters had grown up and moved out. The other day, we were playing in the backyard. I heard him talking to a young lady and someone told me today his daughter and I think granddaughter moved in with him recently," a neighbor told CNN.
 
Save Mart, a Modesto-based supermarket chain, said DeAngelo had worked as a mechanic at the chain's distribution center in Roseville and retired in 2017 after working for the company for 27 years.

PAST ARTICLES

 April 26, 2018: Daughter of Golden State Killer's Victim Speaks Out

 April 25, 2018: Police Arrest Suspected Golden State Killer, Connected to 6 Local Murders

Login to add Comments

10 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
shorebird Apr 27, 2018 06:39 PM
DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect

If I had a relative who was a mass murder and they used my DNA to find him or her I would be glad. Anyone with a respect for their fellow man and the families of the murdered should be happy to help. You give up your privacy when you are a monster.

a-1566810810 Apr 27, 2018 02:49 PM
DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect

I too have mixed feelings about this. I would never give my DNA information out whatsoever, and I don't know what type of privacy agreement is included when you do these geneology things. While it did catch a bad guy I wonder how far the slippery slope would go in terms of health insurance companies accessing the information for purposes of insurance coverage or denial, etc. Law enforcement is different - perhaps they had warrants, but how would they have even known a relative of his used the service ? They would need probably cause first, for the warrant to issue. SHoudl be interesting to see if the charges hold up depending on how they got the info.

Potif Apr 27, 2018 09:01 PM
DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect

PS - They already had the DNA from the crime scenes, which they apparently used to get a family member match. And, then were able to get his DNA from the surveillance once they suspected him. Some of the things that additionally helped him to become a suspect, was living in the areas of where at least many of the crimes were committed.

Potif Apr 27, 2018 08:50 PM
DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect

TRUDI - They got the DNA from the suspect in, or on something he threw away. Soda can he drank from, cup, glass, or straw he used... Anything that had his saliva on. If he throws it away, or leaves something behind, then it's no longer considered 'private' property, and is fair game... as I understand it. In the press conference, they mentioned having had him under surveillance for several days. And, I'm sure that a good part of the reason for the surveillance was to obtain such a sample.

a-1566810810 Apr 27, 2018 10:12 AM
DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect

While I'm elated by this arrest, this begs the question to know if any of these private companies gave up their DNA samples. I think this has been a major deterrent for some people not wanting their info in a database. Does anyone know?

Please Login or Register to comment on this.