CeCe Moore’s company has been helping police departments solve cold cases by uploading crime-scene DNA to public genealogy databases.
Suspects in hundreds of unsolved murders and rapes will be identified using public DNA databases in the near future, a prominent genealogist predicted during MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference today.
CeCe Moore, head of a genealogy unit at Parabon Nanolabs, predicted that “dozens” of cases will be solved in coming months in the US.
The company has already helped US police forces identify suspects in nine grisly crimes since last spring. It does so by using crime-scene DNA to locate relatives who have uploaded their own profiles to a consumer genealogy service.
Once blood relatives are located, the identity of suspects can be inferred from family trees.
In late August, for example, Illinois police arrested Michael Henslick for the murder of Holly Cassano in her home a decade ago. The lead started with a genealogy search, said Moore.
The pace of genetic crime-solving is increasing. In addition to Moore, who says she now oversees three other genealogists, California police have been working with family tree builder Barbara Rae-Venter, whose work on the Golden State Killer case brought the new crime-fighting technique to wide attention last year . . .