Va. to Use Familial DNA Searches

New technology for criminal investigations

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Monday, Mar 21, 2011  |  Updated 1:15 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Famous Mug Shots: Rapper Trick Daddy

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Virginia forensic investigators will now be able to take advantage of a new DNA technology that investigators have said would have helped them solve the East Coast Rapist case sooner.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday that the Department of Forensic Science has the capability to conduct familial DNA searches in criminal investigations.

In cases where there is no known suspect, investigators can match DNA against databases to identify close relatives, and potentially lead to a suspect.

Paul Ebert, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William County, highlighted the technology last month. Ebert told NBC Washington's Julie Carey that familial DNA could helped them catch Aaron Thomas – the man accused of being the East Coast Rapist -- sooner, had the technology been available.

"[Thomas] had a close family member who was arrested and whose DNA was in a database. Had that program been available, he would have been identified much earlier," Ebert said.

The use of familial DNA is barred in most states because of privacy concerns. Virginia is now the third state to utilize the technology, following California and Colorado.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Join the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, Sept. 13... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out