First conviction made using genetic genealogy
William Earl Talbott II is the first person convicted of murder with the help of a powerful new forensic tool called genetic genealogy. Last Friday, jurors found Talbott guilty of killing Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg in 1987 in Washington state. Detective James Scharf, who had worked the cold case for 13 years, said Talbott was never on their radar.
The police got their lead after genetic genealogist CeCe Moore compared partial family matches generated by the genealogy site GEDmatch to crime scene DNA and built out family trees that she says pointed to the unknown suspect. In October, Steve Kroft profiled the Talbott case for 60 Minutes. He interviewed CeCe Moore about how she cracked the case and spoke with Detective Jim Scharf about what it was like to get the DNA match. Across the country there are over 40 criminal cases pending which have been built on leads generated by genetic genealogists like CeCe Moore.
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