Genealogy Research: Successful Convictions of a Serial Rapist

Thursday May 23, 2019 - 02:00pm to 03:00pm EDT
Event Description: 

This webinar will focus on four separate incidents that occurred from 2007 to 2012, including three first-degree rapes, a first-degree sex assault, and an attempted first-degree sex assault. These five cases were all committed by the same suspect, and DNA evidence connected four of these five incidents.

The presenter will discuss how these incidents occurred during the late night hours in the Germantown and Gaithersburg areas of Montgomery County, Maryland. Two of the victims were elderly women, one who lived alone, and one who was raped on two separate occasions. Investigators, uniformed patrol, and plainclothes surveillance teams worked tirelessly on these cases with no success until the fall of 2018. In September 2018, the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit received a genealogy report from Parabon Labs. This report contained the name of a person who shared DNA with the suspect in these incidents at a level equal to being a first cousin twice removed or equivalent. Investigators worked this match to a male that fit perfectly in the family tree at the equivalent spot. The suspect had a violent criminal history and information searches showed that he was still living in the area. Investigators obtained a sample of DNA from this suspect and the sample was compared to the evidence samples in all four cases. The DNA was a match. This suspect was arrested and charged with these four offenses. He ultimately pleaded guilty on February 6, 2019.

The main objectives for this webinar are to increase participants' understanding of how genealogy can be used effectively in sex-related crimes and how genealogy research and investigation can bring new leads to decades-old cold cases.

Organizer Information
Event POC: 
Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance Team
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