Commercial-site DNA hunt that nabbed California serial killer led first to wrong man in 2017

Commercial-site DNA hunt that nabbed California serial killer led first to wrong man in 2017

[Ed. – Plus: apparently the commercial genetic testing/genealogy company that had the legitimate matching DNA didn’t know the law enforcement authorities were using its data.]

Investigators hunting down the so-called Golden State Killer used information from genetic websites last year that led to the wrong man, court records obtained Friday by The Associated Press showed.

An Oregon police officer working at the request of California investigators persuaded a judge to order a 73-year-old man in a nursing home to provide a DNA sample. …

The case of mistaken identity was discovered as authorities hailed a novel use of DNA technology that led this week to the arrest of former police officer Joseph DeAngelo at his house outside Sacramento on murder charges. He’s suspected of being the sadistic attacker who killed 13 people and raped nearly 50 women during the 1970s and ’80s. …

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Investigators were able to make the arrest this week after matching crime-scene DNA with genetic material stored in an online database by a distant relative. …

Authorities never approached Florida-based GEDmatch about the investigation that led to DeAngelo, and co-founder Curtis Rogers said law enforcement’s use of the site raised privacy concerns that were echoed by civil liberties groups.

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