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Yet again, genealogy database leads to suspect in decades-old murder case

Yet again, genealogy database leads to suspect in decades-old murder case
[Photo: Louis Reed/Unsplash]

Yet again, DNA data from genealogy database GEDMatch has helped crack a cold case, this time leading to the arrest of a suspect in an Orlando murder dating back to 2001, the Ledger reports.

The same database has previously been used to catch other criminal suspects, including in the notorious Golden State Killer case.

Police had obtained DNA from the crime scene after the murder of 25-year-old Christine Franke but were unable to match it to anyone in state databases. This year, a company called Parabon Nanolabs that works with the police found three apparent “distant cousins” of the apparent killer using GEDMatch, a site that lets people update and share their own DNA test results.

Officers narrowed the list of suspects to 38-year-old Benjamin L. Holmes, who is now charged with first-degree murder, and his brother. They collected DNA from a beer can and cigars discarded by Holmes and later swabbed his mouth to confirm the match, according to the Ledger.

GEDMatch recently updated its privacy policy to explicitly tell users their data might be used by law enforcement.

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