Prince George’s County Police Department

Man Identified Through Genealogy Pleads Guilty to 2017 Maryland Murder

Matthew Mickens-Murrey

A man identified using genealogy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Matthew Mickens-Murrey in 2017.

Police asked to check on Mickens-Murrey’s welfare when no one could reach him for a few days after a Black gay pride weekend in D.C.

They found him stabbed to death in his apartment in the 5400 block of Newton Street in the unincorporated area of Hyattsville, Maryland.

Brandon Biagas was developed as a suspect when the ancestry search on DNA discovered in the victim's apartment was connected to a bloody knife found in Biagas' truck.

According to charging documents, the night of the murder, Biagas went to a Charles County hospital saying he was attacked and cut with a knife. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office found conflicts in his story and also found a knife and stained shoes in his car that they held on to.

Per the plea agreement, Biagas would get no more than 17 years in prison.

This was the first case Prince George's County police and the state's attorney's office closed using forensic genetic genealogy. The state's attorney now has $470,000 in grant money that the office plans to use to close more cases this way.

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