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ISP solves cold cases with new DNA testing technique

ISP solves cold cases with new DNA testing technique Idaho State Police Forensic Services
Idaho State Police Forensic Services

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Access to new DNA databases is helping Idaho State Police solve cold cases.

Matthew Gamette with Idaho State Forensic Services said molecular Forensic Molecular Genealogy is being used throughout law enforcement and plans to increase it’s use in the next few years.

“It’s a very good technique for solving crime. I can tell you that if we didn’t have this technique a lot of these crimes would not be solved or would not be solved as quickly as we’re able to get to them,” Gamette said.

With the help of sources like GEDmatch, a website that gained national attention after it was used by law enforcement to identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer case in California. So far, the database has been used to help solve the Angie Dodge case as well as the violent Victor City Park rape in Teton County that went unsolved for two years.

“The sample sat in the database for a number of years. We had DNA, we had a full profile that was sitting there waiting for a match to someone, but the suspect’s DNA was not in the CODIS database for whatever reason,” Gamette said.

While physical evidence collected from the survivor was processed by the forensic laboratory and entered into the national DNA database, no match to a suspect was found. Partnering detectives, the Idaho State Police Forensic Services, the Rocky Mountain Information Network, and a private molecular genealogist, a suspect, Chet Neilson, was identified that later pled guilty to the crime.

Officials will focus on a new technique during their National Forensic Science Week presentation Tuesday at 7 p.m. Due to COVID-19, this year the presentation will be completely online HERE - Meeting ID: 980 7584 1379.

You can view more information below.

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