Study probes DNA search method that led to ‘Grim Sleeper’ suspect

The state of California has been a leader in the use of familial DNA searches — investigations that seek out crime suspects by taking unidentified crime scene DNA, looking in a state DNA database for people who are partial matches to that sample, and then track down those close relatives of the suspect to help chase down the ultimate target. A familial DNA search helped police nab ‘Grim Sleeper’ suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. in 2010.

But Familial DNA searchers can cause immediate family members of mistakenly identified distant relatives to be targeted for further investigation, UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow Rori Rohlfs and colleagues wrote, in a study in the journal PLOS ONE.

Read the full, original story here: Study probes DNA search method that led to ‘Grim Sleeper’ suspect

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