List of suspected perpetrators of crimes identified with GEDmatch
In December 2018 police forces in the United States said that, with the help of DNA testing, GEDmatch and genetic genealogy, they had been able to find suspects in a total of 28 cold murder and rape cases in the year 2018. Also in December 2018, Family Tree DNA allowed the law enforcement agencies including the FBI to upload DNA profiles from crime scenes to help solve cold crimes. So from then onwards GEDmatch was not the only site that could be used by law enforcement officials to solve crimes using genetic genealogy. As of April 2019, GEDmatch had been used in at least 59 cold case arrests, most of which were the work of Parabon Nanolabs and their chief genetic genealogist CeCe Moore, as well as 11 Jane and John Doe identifications across the United States, most of which were run and funded by the DNA Doe Project. In May 2019 GEDmatch tightened its rules on privacy which were forecast to make it much more difficult for law enforcement agencies to find suspects using GEDmatch.
Usage by Law Enforcement Agencies
- California law enforcement investigating the Golden State Killer case uploaded the DNA profile of the suspected serial rapist/killer from an intact rape kit in Ventura County to GEDmatch. It identified 10 to 20 distant relatives of the Golden State Killer, and a team of five investigators working with genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter used this to construct a large family tree, which led them to identify former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo as a suspect. Investigators acquired samples of his DNA from items he discarded outside his home, one of which definitively matched that of the killer. The process took about four months, from when the first matches appeared on GEDmatch, to when DeAngelo was arrested in April 2018.
- In September 2018, Roy Charles Waller was arrested as a suspect in a series of more than ten rapes between 1991–2006 in Northern California (the "Norcal Rapist") after DNA evidence from crime scenes were matched on GEDmatch to a relative. Police then constructed a family tree and using the known characteristics of the rapist narrowed the suspects down to Waller. It took little more than a week to identify and arrest the suspect. He was charged with a total of 40 counts of rape which took place in different counties — Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, Yolo and Butte.
- in March 2019, Paul Jean Chartrand was identified by the FBI's Investigative Genealogy Team as the murderer of Barbara Becker in March 21, 1979 in San Diego , She had been repeatedly stabbed in the neck and back. Investigators found blood in several rooms of the La Jolla home. Police at the time said Becker, 37, had tried to escape her attacker. She had fought hard. Some of the blood was his. However Chartrand had already died in 1995 of undisclosed causes.
- In April 2019 Terrence Miller of Edmonds, Washington, was arrested for the 1972 killing of 20-year-old Jody Loomis. Loomis left her home and rode her bicycle toward a stable to ride her horse. Her body was found raped, disrobed, and shot in the head in the woods. This is the second arrest in a Snohomish County cold homicide case using results from genetic genealogy, the sheriff's office said in its statement. Police worked with Deb Stone, an Oregon genealogist, to identify the suspect.
- In April 2019, Arthur Rudy Martinez was posthumously identified as the 1977-1978 murderer and rapist of 30-year-old Jane Morton Antunez and 28-year-old Patricia Dwyer Morton in Atascadero, California, Antunez was killed in her car and Dwyer was stabbed to death in her home. Martinez, who'd been paroled after unrelated convictions for attempted murder and rape, lived in the area at the time of the deaths but left soon after, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said Wednesday. He moved to Spokane, Wash., and received life sentences there for several robberies and two rapes also in 1978. After 16 years in prison in 1994, he escaped and lived under an alias in California until 2014 when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He returned to Washington state and turned himself in to receive medical treatment in prison, Parkinson said. He died behind bars two months later. The homicide cases were reopened three years ago with the Department of Justice's Familiar DNA Search Team seeking a familial DNA match to the evidence. Authorities said it led them to a relative of Martinez and a former girlfriend who provided investigators the DNA sample from a razor he had used. A lab determined the DNA from the razor matched that from the crime scenes.
- In May 2019, James Richard Curry was identified as the killer of Mary Silvani, formerly known as "Sheep Flats Jane Doe"/"Washoe County Jane Doe." DNA collected from Silvani's rape kit was uploaded to GEDMatch, leading to a tentative identification of the killer. However, the suspect had recently died. After DNA from his son, located in a criminal database, ruled the suspect out, further investigation led to Curry, a half brother born out of wedlock in 1946 and raised in Dallas, Texas under a different family name. Curry died in California on January 7, 1983, from injuries inflicted in a suicide attempt after confessing to three murders in California. His two children volunteered to provide DNA samples after being contacted by investigators. Silvani was also identified using genetic genealogy, making this the first known case in which both the victim and the perpetrator were identified in this way (both through the work of genetic genealogist Cheryl Hester).
- In May 2019, a grand jury in Orange County, North Carolina indicted John Russell Whitt on first-degree murder charges related to the death of his son, Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt. Bobby Whitt's skeleton was discovered under a billboard on Interstate 85-40 in September 1998; an autopsy showed that he had died by strangulation. Although the case remained open, and hundreds of investigators worked on it over the years—including forensic artist Frank Bender—the remains were unidentified until Barbara Rae-Venter analyzed a DNA sample that suggested the boy had one white parent and one Asian parent. Using online genealogical services, she located a cousin in Hawai'i, who was able to provide the boy's name. The family had not reported him missing because they believed his mother, Myoung Hwa Cho, had taken him back to South Korea, where she was from. Further investigation revealed that Cho's body had been located in Spartanburg County, South Carolina on May 13, 1998. She had been suffocated, and had ligature marks around her wrists. John Whitt has confessed to both murders; he is currently serving a federal prison sentence at the Ashland FCI for armed robbery and will not be eligible for release on that charge until 2037.
Parabon Labs assisted identifications
In cooperation with American law enforcement organizations, Parabon NanoLabs started uploading DNA evidence from crime scenes to GEDmatch and joined forces with genetic genealogist CeCe Moore to offer genetic genealogy services to law enforcement to identify perpetrators of violent crimes. Parabon said in November 2018 they said they were working on 200 cases and about half had produced workable matches. CeCe Moore is the head of the genetic genealogy unit responsible for most the successful investigative genetic genealogy cases.
- In 2018, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of William Earl Talbott II, a former truck driver, as a suspect in the double murder of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg. Law enforcement investigators from the state of Washington investigating the murder had worked with Parabon NanoLabs to assemble a digital DNA profile of the suspected murderer and uploaded it to GEDmatch. The website had two relatives who were relatively close matches to the DNA profile, and within two days the genealogist CeCe Moore was able to narrow down the profile to one suspect.
- Law enforcement in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania working with Parabon NanoLabs used GEDmatch to identify a relative of the murderer in the 1992 sexual assault and murder of the schoolteacher Christy Mirack in her home in East Lampeter Township. Raymond Charles Rowe (also known as "D.J. Freez"), was arrested in June 2018. He and Mirack frequented some of the same clubs, and Rowe's route to work took him past Mirack's apartment, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said, Stedman said Rowe did not provide a motive when he confessed. Rowe was sentenced to life without parole. He has since been moved State Correctional Institution – Waymart.
- Law enforcement also used GEDmatch and Parabon's genetic genealogist CeCe Moore to narrow down suspects to two brothers in the 1986 rape and murder of 12 year old Michella Welch in Tacoma Washington. Gary C. Hartman, one of the brothers, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape in June 2018, after police collected his DNA from a discarded restaurant napkin. He pleaded not guilty.
- GEDmatch was also used by CeCe Moore to identify the murderer of 40 year old Virginia Freeman in Brazos, Texas in 1981, as James Otto Earhart, who had been executed in 1999 for another murder.
- In July 2018, John D. Miller confessed to the 1988 rape and murder of 8 year old April Tinsley near Fort Wayne, Indiana, after DNA samples were sent to GEDmatch by Parabon and used to identify his relatives. Miller was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
- Spencer Monnet was identified using GEDmatch and arrested in July 2018 for the burglary and rape of a 79-year-old woman in Utah, 14 weeks after the crime had been committed. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years to life.
- In August 2018, Darold Wayne Bowden was charged with being the Ramsey Street Rapist, a serial rapist who assaulted women in Fayetteville, North Carolina from 2006 to 2008. DNA samples uploaded to GEDmatch were linked to him by the work of CeCe Moore.
- In August 2018, Michael Henslick was arrested as a suspect in the murder of 22-year-old Holly Cassano in 2009 in Champaign, Illinois, after DNA evidence left at the scene was linked to him through GEDmatch and the work of CeCe Moore. He pleaded not guilty and faces between 20-60 years in prison.
- In September 2018, Marlon Michael Alexander was arrested as a suspect for a series of rapes in Montgomery County, Maryland between 2007–2011 after DNA samples from the rapes were submitted to Parabon who linked the perpetrator through GEDmatch to two relatives, one of whom, a female relative in Georgia, helped the local police identify Alexander. Alexander plead guilty to two offences. In May 2019 he was found guilty of three rapes and sentenced to two concurrent life sentences in jail.
- Luke Fleming was arrested in September 2018 as a suspect in the 1999 rape and murder of Deborah Dalzell in Sarasota, Florida. Using autosomal DNA from his sperm and GEDmatch, Parabon and genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter constructed a family tree which pointed to a Florida resident Joseph Fleming, who was dead, but had two living sons, one of whom, Luke Fleming matched DNA from the crime scene. Luke Fleming's trial date was scheduled for February 2020 and he could face the death Penalty if convicted.
- In October 2018 Parabon's CeCe Moore used GEDmatch to identify Robert Eugene Brashers, a "violent serial rapist and murderer", as the 1990 killer of 28 year old Genevieve Zitricki in Greenville South Carolina, as the rapist of a 14-year-old girl in 1997 in Memphis Tennessee and the murder of 12-year old Megan Sherer and her mother 38-year-old Sherri Sherer in Portageville, Missouri in 1998. Brashers had committed suicide in 1999 after he was approached by police officers in Kennett, Missouri. His body was dug up in 2018 and confirmed a match to DNA from the crime scenes.
- Parabon's technology and the work of CeCe Moore led to the arrest of Michael Wayne Devaughn in the murder case of 65-year-old Betty Jones and in the sexual assault case of 81-year-old Kathryn Crigler in Starkville, Mississippi in 1990, who died two months later (called the 'Labor Day Murder'). Devaughn, already in jail for a drug offense, was arrested in October 2018. He faces either the death penalty or life without parole. He pleaded not guilty.
- Parabon helped the Faulkner County, Arkansas police identify Edward Keith Renegar in October 2018 as the primary suspect of the kidnap, rape and murder of 32 year old Pam Felkins in Greenbriar, Arkansas in 1990. Renegar was convicted of kidnapping a woman at knife-point in Arkansas 1994 but had died in 2002.
- In November 2018 the Fulton County, Georgia police with the aid of Parabon's DNA Genetic Genealogy unit, tracked down and arrested 61 year old Jerry Lee in Alabama for the 1997 murder of 28 year old Lorrie Ann Smith. It was obvious that Smith had fought for her life and Police were able to use blood from the murder scene to extract the killers DNA. The police noted at the time of the arrest that "Despite a reward of more than $30,000 and DNA tests conducted on more than 100 individuals over the last 21 years, Police had been unable to positively identify the suspect until this week."" In May 2019, Lee was released on $150,000 bond.
- In November 2018 Maryland police, with the help of Parabon, arrested Fred Frampton Jr. for the armed robbery and shooting of 24 year old Michael Anthony Temple Jr. in Odenton, Maryland in 2010 leaving Temple a quadriplegic. Temple died in 2015 as a result of the 2010 attack. The robbery and murder was committed by two men but the second suspect, Jonathan Ludwig, had died in March 2018.
- In November 2018, Benjamin Lee Holmes was arrested as a suspect in the murder of University of Florida student Christine Franke 17 years earlier in October 21, 2001 when she was shot in the head during a robbery in Orlando, Florida. Parabon used a sample from the crime scene to put the DNA of the killer into GEDmatch and identified three distant cousins. CeCe Moore used genealogy techniques to narrow down to the most likely suspects. Law enforcement interviewed family members, collected DNA samples and compared them to the killer's DNA, Detective Micheal Fields said. " Through this testing, we were able to show the kinship relationship between the killer and different family members. We eliminated most of the family using genetic genealogy and eventually, we were able to narrow down the suspect list to two brothers, one of which was Benjamin Lee Holmes."
- Parabon and geneticist Barbara Rae-Venter helped the Carlsbad, California police In November 2018 identify David Mabrito as the suspected killer of 39 year old Jodine Serrin in 2007 using DNA matches to some of his relatives. Mabrito was an itinerant who had family in the area and had died in 2011. Police discovered they already had an unprocessed DNA sample from Mabrito that matched Serrin's killer.
- Parabon and CeCe Moore used GEDmatch to point towards John Arthur Getreu as a suspect in the murder by strangulation of 21-year-old Stanford University graduate Leslie Marie Perlov in 1973 in Santa Clara, California. After Police found Getreu's DNA matched the DNA from the scene of Perlov's death they arrested him. Getreu was also later charged with the 1974 murder by strangulation of 21-year-old Janet Taylor in Palo Alto, California.
- In December 2018 Christopher Quinn Williams was arrested in Montgomery, Texas as a suspect in multiple burglaries since October 2015. The burglar broke into homes and fondled sleeping women. He was released on $160,000 bond.
- In December 2018, Jerry Lynn Burns was arrested as the suspect in the December 1979 murder of 18 year old Michelle Martinko in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after Parabon used GEDmatch to build the suspect's family tree from his DNA left at the scene and from relatives who had entered their DNA. His trial date is set for October 14, 2019 and he faces up to life without parole, he has pleaded not guilty and denied killing Martinko during an interview with police, court records show. He could not provide a "plausible explanation" for why his DNA would be in Martinko's car, according to charging documents.
- In January 2019, Florida Police announced Parabon had identified William Louis Nichols as the violent rapist of a 12-year-old girl in Hernando County, Florida in 1983 using genetic genealogy but Nichols had already died in 1998 of cancer. Nichols had a history of sexual offences.
- In January 2019, Russell Anthony Guerrero was arrested in Arizona and had to be extradited to California as a result of Parabon's Genetic Genealogy Unit's work. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged him with the December 17, 1990 murder in Fremont, California of Jack Upton who had not shown up to work for several days. Officers went to the 30-year-old man's apartment and found his body. Police called it "a brutal homicide" when announcing the arrest.
- In January 2019, Zachary Bunney was arrested as a suspect in the June 2006, murder of Scott Martinez who was stabbed several times by a sword in La Mesa, California thanks to the work of Parabon's Genetic Genealogy Team. Zachary faces a maximum of 26 years to life in prison. He pleaded not guilty.
- In January 2019, Portland police with the assistance of Parabon's Genetic Genealogy Team identified Jerry Walter McFadden as the man who strangled a 20-year-old woman found dead in her apartment in 1979 by matching crime-scene DNA to data in a GEDmatch.com, McFadden, was executed by lethal injection in 1999 for the rape and slaying of an 18-year-old high school cheerleader, one of three people killed during a daylong murder rampage in 1986, about 100 miles east of Dallas. At the time of his arrest in those killings, he was on parole after three rape convictions.
- In February 2019, Steven Downs was identified and arrested for the 1993 Alaska murder of Sophie Sergie through the genetic genealogy work of Parabon and CeCe Moore. Sergie's body was found by a custodian in the bathroom of an eight-story dormitory. She'd been sexually assaulted, stabbed and shot in the back of the head. He is being held without bail and he claims to be innocent, adamantly denying any involvement in this crime.
- In February 2019, Joseph Holt was identified as the perpetrator of the 1977 murder of Brynn Rainy and the 1979 murder of Carol Andersen through the work of Parabon and their Genetic Genealogy Unit. However Joseph Holt died in 2014 so he was not arrested.
- In February 2019, Brian Keith Munns of Georgia was arrested for the 1988 murder of Alice Haynsworth Ryan who was stabbed to death in her home. Munns has a criminal history that shows he was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1998 to which he pleaded guilty and was in prison from 2001 to 2007 being released on probation. Bit was incarcerated again when his community supervision was revoked and was released in 2009 but was sent back July that same year for failing to register as a sex offender but was released in October that year.
- In March 2019, Police in South Dakota arrested Theresa (Josten) Bentaas for the 1981 homicide of her baby boy. the 38-year-old cold case of the dead abandoned baby was solved using DNA from genealogy sites to identify the child's mother. The Sioux Falls police discovered a full-term baby dead, wrapped in a blanket and abandoned in a cornfield ditch. The cause of death was judged to be exposure to the elements. The baby's father was already found on February 15 and he was not charged because he never knew about his son’s birth or death. She was charged with first-degree murder, along with the lesser included offenses of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Bentaas is scheduled to go on trial in June 2019, and she faces a maximum of life in prison.
- In March 2019, Florida Police, with the help of GEDmatch and Parabon, arrested Thomas Lewis Garner who was charged with the 1984 beating and death by strangulation in Sanford, Florida, of 25-year-old Pamela Cahanes who had just graduated from US Naval basic training.
- In March 2019, Parabon used GEDmatch to help police identify Kenneth Earl Day as the person who raped a 53-year-old woman in 1989 and raped and murdered 44-year-old Le Bich-Thuy in 1994 in Rockville, West Virginia. However Day had already died in 2017 at age 52.
- In March 2019, through the work of Parabon's Genetic Genealogy Unit, 82-year-old Raymond L. Vannieuwenhoven was arrested in Lakewood in connection with the 1976 shooting deaths of a David Schuldes, 25, and Ellen Matheys, 24, were shot at McClintock Park in Silver Cliff, Wisconsin. Matheys was also sexually assaulted. Vannieuwenhoven did not seem surprised when he was arrested. If convicted on all charges he could face 2 consecutive life sentences plus an additional 15 years.
- In March 2019, Coley McCraney, a truck driver with no criminal record, was arrested after genetic testing and the work of Parabon's Genetic Genealogy Team matched his DNA to evidence collected in 1999 from a car trunk that contained the bodies of two girls shot to death in Ozark, Alabama, authorities said. Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley, both 17, had headed out to a party on July 3, 1999, but never arrived. They became lost, and Hawlett called her mother to say they had gotten directions and were headed home. They never arrived there, either. Their bodies were found the next day in the trunk of Beasley's car, less than a half-mile from the pay phone Hawlett used to talk to her mother. Both had been shot in the head, authorities said. Despite hundreds of interviews and seemingly endless hunting, a suspect was never found. The police chief released no details on a possible motive or what the suspect said to investigators following his arrest. McCraney is being held without bail and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled within two weeks, Adams said. McCraney has not entered a plea. Prosecution will seek the death penalty.
- Montana police announced in March 2019 that, with the help of GEDmatch and Parabon, they had identified Cecil Stan Caldwell as the prime suspect in the murder of 24-year-old Clifford Bernhardt and the sexual assault and murder of his wife 24-year-old Linda Bernhardt in Billings, Montana in 1973. However Caldwell, a former co-worker of Linda Bernhardt, had already died in 2003.
- In March 2019, Parabon's CeCe Moore identified a body which had been found beside the James river in 2016 as 39-year-old Hassan A. Alkebu-Lan of Richmond, Virginia using GEDmatch. Police did not suspect this was a crime scene.
- In April 2019, Greenville, South Carolina police arrested Brook Graham for abandoning her infant daughter on February 1990, the infant was dead when discovered. Parabon linked the baby's DNA to a relative of the father on GEDmatch using genetic genealogy. Police allege Brook Graham put her newly-born infant, along with the placenta and umbilical cord, into a cardboard vacuum cleaner box and ditched the baby in a field near a pile of debris in February 1990. The case is called the "Julie Valentine" case, based on what investigators named the baby. She was originally charged with homicide by child abuse but that was upgraded to murder. The case was the second one to be solved by Parabon using GEDmatch and genetic genealogy in Greenville in a 6 month span after a now-dead man named Robert Eugene Brashers was identified in October 2018 as a serial killer who committed one murder in Greenville. In May 2019 Brook Graham was also charged with unlawful neglect of a child and desecration of human remains in connection with the body of another baby (a boy) found dead in April 1989 in Greenville County.
- In April 2019, Richard E. Knapp was arrested after Parabon used his DNA to find his relatives using genetic genealogy. The police matched Knapp's DNA to that left at the scene of the July 17, 1994 rape and murder of 26-year-old Audrey Hoellein in Vancouver, Washington.
- In April 2019, police from Centerville, Utah arrested a 17-year-old boy for allegedly assaulting a 71-year-old woman on November 17, 2019 while she was practicing the organ in a church meetinghouse. Initially Parabon refused to take on this case but the Police got special permission from Curtis Rodgers, the founder of GEDmatch, on the grounds that the assailant could strike again. Utah detectives found a rock with the alleged perpetrators DNA and sent it to Parabon, which used GEDMatch and genetic genealogy to identify the suspect. This was the first time GEDmatch had been used by Law Enforcement for a case that did not involve homicide, rape or kidnapping.
- In May 2019, Terre Haute Police Chief Shawn Keen announced that Parabon had helped the agency to identify Jeffrey Lynn Hand as the possible killer of Pamela Milam, 19, who was raped and strangled in 1972. She was last seen on the night of Sept. 15, 1972, leaving a sorority event at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana southwest of Indianapolis. Her body was found bound and gagged in the trunk of her car the next night. With the help of Parabon and GEDmatch, police found Hand’s widow and two sons, obtained their DNA and after submitting it to Indiana’s state crime lab concluded that Hand was almost certainly the killer. Hand was killed in a shootout with police in 1978 during an attempted kidnapping. Hand had been previously arrested in 1973 for killing a hitchhiker he picked up, but pleaded not guilty of murder by reason of insanity. The case was never tried and Hand was freed from prison in 1976,
- Brian Leigh Dripps confessed to the sexual assault and murder by stabbing of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in 1996 after Idaho Falls, Idaho Police charged him in May 2019. Parabon's CeCe Moore identified Dripps using GEDmatch and genetic genealogy. Previously the police had targeted other men (one of whom was in prison for 20 years) for the murder.
- In May 2019 Seattle, Washington Police announced that the DNA from Frank Wypych matched the DNA from the killer of a 20-year-old Susan Galvin. Galvin, a Seattle Police Department records clerk, had died in 1967 from strangulation and had been sexually assaulted. CeCe Moore at Parabon built family trees of the matches on GEDmatch and found only one man could have been Galvin's killer's, which lead police to identify Wypych as a suspect. Wypych had already died in 1987 but Wypych's body was dug up to make the confirmatory DNA match. This makes it the oldest case to be solved using Gedmatch.
- Michael Whyte was arrested in June 2019 for the murder by strangulation of 32-year-old US Army Specialist Darlene Krashoc in 1987. Krashoc had been based at Fort Carson, El Paso County, Colorado and had been at a club in 1987 with members of her unit. She was last seen alive leaving the club between midnight and 1:00 a.m. The local Colorado Springs police had used Parabon Nanolabs to help using genetic genealogy.
- A body of a man who had suffered severe upper body trauma and had been murdered about 1963 was found in a trash can in 1985 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In June 2019, local Police with the help of Cece Moore and Parabon Nanolabs identified the body as that of 20-year-old Roger Kelso, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1943. The murderer was not identified.
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