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A Conviction

A suspect who was identified through genetic genealogy has been convicted, the Associated Press reports.

A jury in Washington State found William Earl Talbott II guilty of murder in the deaths of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, a young Canadian couple that was killed while on vacation in 1987, Wired reports. Police homed in on Talbott after working with Parabon Nanolabs, which found a close match between a crime scene DNA sample and a second cousin of Talbott's and then drew up a family tree that led to Talbott. As Buzzfeed News reported last year, police collected DNA from Talbott that then confirmed the match to the crime scene sample.

The genetic genealogy approach used, though, was not a major focus of the trial, according to a previous report from Wired, as the attorneys in the case were treating the lead generated as any other tip police may receive.

Still, Wired says now that this outcome indicates that genetic genealogy may not just help generate leads, but also convictions. "And that has huge implications for both the future of crime-fighting and genetic privacy," it adds.