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DNA Test Kits Are Helping Solve Cold Cases Decades Later

By Gabrielle Bernardini

A breakthrough in DNA technology has been the key to solving decades worth of unsolved true crime murders. Parabon NanoLabs is now offering a new type of DNA test kit that involves DNA analysis and genealogy work. With DNA being submitted voluntarily to genetic databases — thank you, 23andMe — detectives are now able to widen the search on a person's family tree and match this to DNA taken from crime scenes.  

Chief genetic genealogist of Parabon NanoLabs, CeCe Moore, explained to ABC News:  "In a genetic genealogy database we can reverse engineer the [suspect's family] tree from their distant cousins who have tested. So it doesn't matter that they haven't had their DNA tested through another arrest or crime scene, we don't need their DNA. We need somebody from their family to have tested in order to resolve these cases." 

After harnessing the power of a free genealogy database, Moore and her colleagues now have dozens of unsolved crimes currently under investigation. "I predict we will see dozens or hundreds of cold cases resolved over the next couple of years," she added to NBC News.  

Here are just some of the cases that were closed thanks to modern DNA technology: