Investigators used genealogy database to ID Golden State Killer suspect

27 April, 2018, 12:07 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • This shoelace was marked as evidence. It was found at the site of Brian and Katie Maggiore's murder

Investigators are still working to link him to the other crimes, including 12 murders, 45 rapes and the ransacking of more than 100 homes.

He is the alleged serial killer who spent almost four decades on the run, but now that 72-year-old Joseph James Deangelo is in custody, questions from investigators about his role as the Visalia Ransacker and Golden State Killer pour in.

Police matched DNA from a crime scene to genetic material from a relative who was registered on genealogy sites, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi said.

Confirming details first reported by the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Grippi said investigators compared DNA samples left by the perpetrator at a crime scene to genetic profiles on the ancestry sites, looking for similarities.

Ancestry.com and 23andMe, two of the largest companies that produce genetic profiles for customers who provide DNA samples, say they don't cooperate with law enforcement unless they receive a court order.

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DeAngelo has been charged in connection with several killings and rapes in several counties, including Sacramento, Orange and Ventura.

He served aboard the USS Canberra, a guided missile cruiser, during the Vietnam War, according to Navy Public Affairs.

Some of the crimes occurred while DeAngelo worked as an officer in the Auburn Police Department. More on the investigation into and the arrest of the "Golden State Killer".

"He was very surprised", Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said. We didn't work with law enforcement on this case, they didn't contact us.

According to local television stations, DeAngelo was once a policeman.

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Neighbors have said DeAngelo mostly kept to himself and sometimes yelled at people who got too close to his fence but said he had become a recluse in recent years.

Authorities have not disclosed whose DNA helped solve the case.

Many state elected officials and rights groups fiercely opposed any attempts by Harrington and the state to expand the California's criminal offender DNA database.

"It's our policy to resist law enforcement inquiries to protect customer privacy", the spokesperson said in a statement to HuffPost.

The proposition gave the state broader powers to collect DNA.

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But it appears as though law enforcement used the software like any member would have and simply shared DeAngelo's DNA to the website.

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