DNA on Genealogy Websites Used to Find Golden State Killer Suspect
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.