To Solve 3 Cold Cases, This Small County Got a DNA Crash Course

Genetic genealogy's use in criminal cases has gone mainstream. As the cases of three murder victims in Indiana illustrate, the science of DNA evidence combined with genealogical research and detective work is rapidly ramping up, from a hobby to a curiosity and now to a major commercial and criminal-justice opportunity. Hundreds of missing persons have been identified from decades-old remains, or murder suspects identified from old biological evidence in cold cases. By creating a family tree of the victim or suspect, investigators can zero in on an identity more quickly and inexpensively than ever.

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