35-year-old murder case solved by widespread genetics

Law enforcement forces are getting used to genetic-based search. After famous arrest of Golden State Killer, American police solved another long-standing mystery.

Death of Traci in Ozaukee County (Wisconsin) in 1984 has not been attributed to any perpetrator for 35 years. However, detectives had DNA evidence and after learning about GSK case, they reached out to the officers behind that pioneer investigation. In collaboration with various scientists and agencies, they amplified scarce DNA samples, genotyped them, and uploaded results to ancestry databases.

In result, they found a match: second cousin. After working out genealogy trees for a few generations, they narrowed down on suspects, who were capable of committing the crime in the specific place and time.

Murderer was ID’d as Philip C. He died in 2012 of a drug overdose. He was never sentenced for a murder and was never mentioned in the investigation. Because of that, officers behind the case feel mixed emotions:

I think anyone who worked on the case felt a connection to it, (but) I wanted him to face greater justice.

Quote: Journal Sentinel
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