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From Relatives to Suspects

Parabon NanoLabs has uploaded DNA information from a hundred crime scenes to the genetic genealogy site GEDmatch, Buzzfeed News reports. It adds that the company has uncovered people related to the suspects in about 20 of the cases.

The approach used by Parabon, which is known for deriving sketches of suspects from genetic material they leave behind at crime scenes, is how police homed in on the alleged Golden State Killer. In that case, authorities arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer, after matching DNA from one of the scenes to a relative who'd used the site.

Parabon announced earlier this month that it was teaming up with law enforcement officials to apply this genetic genealogy approaches to cold cases. It said it had piloted its new Snapshot Genetic Genealogy Service with 100 samples. Parabon CEO Steven Armentrout estimates that they can solve about 20 percent of the cases using genetic genealogy alone and another 30 percent in coordination with police.

Buzzfeed adds that in light of the arrest in the Golden State Killer case, California officials are also seeking to test samples from the Zodiac Killer of the late 1960s and early 1970s.