Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by takyon on Sunday June 17 2018, @07:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the year-of-the-snitch dept.

The Associated Press and the Everett Washington HeraldNet carry a story about a 30 year old double murder solved using Public Genealogy Sites similar to the Golden State Killer story carried here on SoylentNews.

Deaths of two Canadian visitors shopping in the Seattle area were unsolved since 1987.

The deaths remained a mystery for more than 30 years, until DNA led to a major breakthrough. A genealogist, CeCe Moore, worked with experts at Parabon NanoLabs to build a family tree for the suspect, based on the genetic evidence recovered from the crime scenes. They used data that had been uploaded by distant cousins to public genealogy websites. They pinpointed a suspect, Talbott, a trucker living north of Sea-Tac International Airport.

Police kept him under surveillance until a paper cup fell from his truck in Seattle in early May. A swab of DNA from the cup came back as a match to the evidence that had waited 30 years. Before then, Talbott had never been considered a suspect. Days later he was in handcuffs.

This time the police used Parabon NanoLabs (more well-known for generating facial models from mere samples of DNA) to build a family tree of the killer by submitting the 30 year old crime scene DNA samples to multiple genealogy sites.

Results from those sites were combined by a Parabon genealogist to map the family of distant cousins found in those data bases. Police were then able to narrow down the list using other methods unmentioned.

Neither article mentions if any family members were stalked by police while being eliminated as suspects, or whether any samples were submitted by other family members.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Creating Wanted Posters from DNA Samples 16 comments

KOMO TV (Seattle) is carrying a story about unsolved "Cold Case" murders in Tacoma that occurred in 1986.

TACOMA, Wash. - Using cutting-edge technology not available until now, investigators have released composite sketches of two men suspected of abducting and killing two young Tacoma girls in 1986.

Police say they are determined to solve the two horrific murder cases, which have gone cold after three decades - and they are hopeful the new technology will help lead them to the killers.

There were no witnesses. But DNA samples were found. So how were the sketches made?

The "composite sketches" were generated by a computer based on a process called DNA Phenotyping which is the prediction of physical appearance, using information extracted from DNA which accurately predicts genetic ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape in individuals from any ethnic background, even individuals with mixed ancestry.

"These are composites much like a witness giving a description and a computer program making a sketch based on known appearance factors," Loretta Cool of the Tacoma police said in a prepared statement. "These composites will not be exact but the outcome is a visual reference that may look similar to what the suspects looked like in 1986."

The process was developed by Parabon Nanolabs and the process is explained on their web site.

How close are the predictions?

Parabon's website has some examples generated from DNA contributed by known volunteers. You can compare the sketches with photos of the volunteers and judge for yourself. Personally, I think Yolanda McClary's actual IMDB photo is virtually a dead ringer for the computer prediction.


Original Submission

Study Predicts Appearance From Genome Sequence Data 10 comments

Anonymity continues to die a little every day:

The physical traits predicted from genome sequence data may be sufficient to identify anonymous individuals in the absence of other information, according to a study set to appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

After looking for links between physical phenotypes and whole-genome sequence data for more than 1,000 individuals from a range of ancestral groups, researchers from the US and Singapore took a crack at predicting biometric traits based on genetic data with the help of a newly developed algorithm. In a group of de-identified individuals, they reported, the algorithm made it possible to identify a significant proportion of individuals based on predictions of three-dimensional facial structure, ethnicity, height, weight, and other traits.

"By associating de-identified genomic data with phenotypic measurements of the contributor, this work challenges current conceptions of genomic privacy," senior author Craig Venter, of Human Longevity and the J. Craig Venter Institute, and his co-authors wrote. "It has significant ethical and legal implications on personal privacy, the adequacy of informed consent, the viability and value of de-identification of data, the potential for police profiling, and more."

[...] [Genome] sequences [...] are not currently protected as identifying data under the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's Safe Harbor method for ensuring anonymous and de-identified patient information.

Also at Bio-IT World, PRNewswire, and San Diego Union Tribune.

Previously: Creating Wanted Posters from DNA Samples

Related: EFF to Supreme Court: The Fourth Amendment Covers DNA Collection
Kuwait Creating Mandatory DNA Database of All Citizens, Residents--and Visitors
Massive DNA Collection Campaign in Xinjiang, China
Routine Whole Genome Sequencing: Not Scary?


Original Submission

DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest 19 comments

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/02/us/golden-state-killer-unsealed-warrants/index.html

When the suspected Golden State Killer drove into a Hobby Lobby parking lot in April, investigators were waiting nearby. As he walked into the craft store, it gave them a perfect chance to collect a secret DNA sample.

Police swabbed the driver's side handle of [the suspect's] car, according to arrest and search warrants released Friday.

Authorities sent it for testing and matched it to semen recovered at some of the Golden State Killer's crime scenes, the arrest warrant said.

[...] The stop at the Hobby Lobby was just one of several ways investigators used to zero in on a suspect. Earlier this year, police tracked him down by comparing genetic profiles from genealogy websites to crime scene DNA, according to investigators.

On April 23, a day before his arrest, police say they collected multiple samples from a trash can outside DeAngelo's home in Citrus Heights, a town 16 miles northeast of Sacramento. They had watched the home for three days, the warrant said.

Previously: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"


Original Submission

'Martyr of the A10': DNA Leads to France Arrests Over 1987 Murder 13 comments

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

'Martyr of the A10': DNA leads to France arrests over 1987 murder

French police have arrested a couple 31 years after their daughter was found dead, in a cold case revived through DNA evidence. The mutilated body of the child, named by police as Inass, was found by a motorway in central France in 1987. The parents were traced after the DNA of their son, tested in an unrelated case, was matched with that of the girl, French media report.

[...] In 2008, her DNA was formally identified, and the related information registered in a national genetic prints database. However no identification was made at that stage. The case was reopened in 2012 when a call for witnesses was released with a picture of the dead girl's face and the caption: "Who is she?"

The apparent breakthrough in the case happened when a man was arrested over a violent incident in 2016. His DNA reportedly identified him as the victim's brother. Months of investigation then led police to the parents.

Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree


Original Submission

Indiana Murder Suspect Found by Using Genealogical Website 44 comments

Murder suspect due in U.S. court after DNA cracks open 1988 case

A 59-year-old Indiana man will be formally charged on Thursday with the 1988 murder of an eight-year-old girl after the decades-old cold case was cracked open by DNA evidence linked to a genealogical website, authorities said on Tuesday.

John Miller of Grabill, Indiana, was arrested in nearby Fort Wayne on Sunday after DNA evidence and records on publicly accessible genealogical websites helped investigators track him down. Investigators followed a pattern similar to that used to track down the "Golden State Killer" in California earlier this year.

Miller on Monday was preliminarily charged with murder, child molestation and confinement of someone under 14 years old, 30 years after eight-year-old April Tinsley was found dead in a ditch. He has been ordered held without bond.

If you don't hand over your DNA, you want child murderers to frolic in freedom.

Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
'Martyr of the A10': DNA Leads to France Arrests Over 1987 Murder
DNA Methylation Can Reveal Information About Criminal Suspects


Original Submission

Public Ancestry Data Can be Used to Narrow Down the Identity Behind an Anonymous DNA Sample 22 comments

We will find you: DNA search used to nab Golden State Killer can home in on about 60% of white Americans

If you're white, live in the United States, and a distant relative has uploaded their DNA to a public ancestry database, there's a good chance an internet sleuth can identify you from a DNA sample you left somewhere. That's the conclusion of a new study, which finds that by combining an anonymous DNA sample with some basic information such as someone's rough age, researchers could narrow that person's identity to fewer than 20 people by starting with a DNA database of 1.3 million individuals.

Such a search could potentially allow the identification of about 60% of white Americans from a DNA sample—even if they have never provided their own DNA to an ancestry database. "In a few years, it's really going to be everyone," says study leader Yaniv Erlich, a computational geneticist at Columbia University.

The study was sparked by the April arrest of the alleged "Golden State Killer," a California man accused of a series of decades-old rapes and murders. To find him—and more than a dozen other criminal suspects since then—law enforcement agencies first test a crime scene DNA sample, which could be old blood, hair, or semen, for hundreds of thousands of DNA markers—signposts along the genome that vary among people, but whose identity in many cases are shared with blood relatives. They then upload the DNA data to GEDmatch, a free online database where anyone can share their data from consumer DNA testing companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com to search for relatives who have submitted their DNA. Searching GEDMatch's nearly 1 million profiles revealed several relatives who were the equivalent to third cousins to the crime scene DNA linked to the Golden State Killer. Other information such as genealogical records, approximate age, and crime locations then allowed the sleuths to home in on a single person.

Even if you can convince your entire immediate family to not use these services, you could still be vulnerable. And the success rate is likely to climb over time for all racial groups. Maybe the tests could be subsidized to get more of the population to give up the goods.

Also at LA Times

Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
'Martyr of the A10': DNA Leads to France Arrests Over 1987 Murder
Indiana Murder Suspect Found by Using Genealogical Website


Original Submission

Politics: DNA Databases in the U.S. and China are Tools of Racial Oppression 166 comments

DNA Databases in the U.S. and China Are Tools of Racial Oppression

Two major world powers, the United States and China, have both collected an enormous number of DNA samples from their citizens, the premise being that these samples will help solve crimes that might have otherwise gone unsolved. While DNA evidence can often be crucial when it comes to determining who committed a crime, researchers argue these DNA databases also pose a major threat to human rights.

In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a DNA database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that currently contains over 14 million DNA profiles. This database has a disproportionately high number of profiles of black men, because black Americans are arrested five times as much as white Americans. You don't even have to be convicted of a crime for law enforcement to take and store your DNA; you simply have to have been arrested as a suspect.

[...] As for China, a report that was published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in mid-June claims that China is operating the "world's largest police-run DNA database" as part of its powerful surveillance state. Chinese authorities have collected DNA samples from possibly as many as 70 million men since 2017, and the total database is believed to contain as many as 140 million profiles. The country hopes to collect DNA from all of its male citizens, as it argues men are most likely to commit crimes.

DNA is reportedly often collected during what are represented as free physicals, and it's also being collected from children at schools. There are reports of Chinese citizens being threatened with punishment by government officials if they refuse to give a DNA sample. Much of the DNA that's been collected has been from Uighur Muslims that have been oppressed by the Chinese government and infamously forced into concentration camps in the Xinjiang province.

Related:


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @07:57PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @07:57PM (#694334)

    This is one of those new areas in forensics and law enforcement where I feel like the cure is going to quickly get worse than the disease.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:10PM

      by frojack (1554) on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:10PM (#694336) Journal

      When they ask you for a DNA sample for exclusionary purposes you can bet it's going straight into a national database even when it does in fact exclude you.

      Because, surely if your third cousin was a rapist, you must be too. /Sarcasm

      So far police have been quite sensitive to the potential for abuse, but they've also been very circumspect about exactly what level of invasive or coersive investigation methods are employed. We've learned to be suspicious when police start keeping methodology secret.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday June 18 2018, @08:26PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday June 18 2018, @08:26PM (#694690) Homepage
      But how can you be doubful of a companies suh as those who are "more well-known for generating facial models from mere samples of DNA"? Everything they output is guaranteed to be 100% reliable, double pinkie promise.

      I bet you every time they've generated a model that's impressed anyone, they already had a related photo to work from.

      Me, cynical?
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:47PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:47PM (#694344)

    So, if I have a family member who committed a crime, and I want to turn them in without going to the police, I could just submit my DNA to one of those genealogy labs and just wait for science to run its course?

    • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:59PM

      by Arik (4543) on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:59PM (#694349) Journal
      Assuming the crime is one that's high enough profile someone is still working it, and that there is DNA evidence available for comparisons, then yes, that could conceivably work.

      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:14PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:14PM (#694350)

      Are you related to Trump?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:49PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:49PM (#694373)

        No, but I was unaware that he left behind DNA. [shudder]

        • (Score: 2) by SpockLogic on Monday June 18 2018, @12:05AM (2 children)

          by SpockLogic (2762) on Monday June 18 2018, @12:05AM (#694378)

          Stormy, do you have a blue dress?

          --
          Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @09:49AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @09:49AM (#694458)

            Define have

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday June 18 2018, @03:45PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @03:45PM (#694548) Journal

              HAVE: (noun) one of two parts when something is divided in two.

              --
              To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Monday June 18 2018, @11:13AM

      by looorg (578) on Monday June 18 2018, @11:13AM (#694481)

      I guess that could be a way to do it. But are these "active cases" or "cold cases" (I'm guessing cold once since it was a unsolved murder in 1987) that are getting solved by getting data from genealogy databases so if you think a crime was committed now it might not help much. I just hope this won't mean that police be getting lazy and just starting to trawling genealogy sites for clues instead of normal work. I don't believe this will have a deterrence effect on murderers either, it's to far fetched and many steps of thinking ahead to probably have an effect (as in can't murder billy bob cause some day way into the future some potential offspring might submit dna to a website and they'll track it back to me ...)

  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:45PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:45PM (#694353)

    Visitors to Kuwait get their DNA collected at the airport when they arrive. Everybody living there has their DNA collected, not just babies like in California.

    I'm sure it helps. I suppose the really offensive part of the deal is that it is just decided by the people in charge; this is the sort of tradeoff that ought to be put to a vote.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by captain normal on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:18PM (9 children)

      by captain normal (2205) on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:18PM (#694366)

      Of course you're an AC. Trying pass of a baldfaced lie as as fact.

      --
      When life isn't going right, go left.
      • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:54PM (8 children)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:54PM (#694374) Homepage Journal

        They call it SoylentNews because it's about the news. Discussion about the news. But you go, "oh, that's a lie!" just because you didn't hear a certain story in the news. And that's a terrible discussion. Sad! foxnews.com/travel/2016/04/21/kuwait-to-test-tourists-dna-before-letting-them-into-country.html [foxnews.com]

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Monday June 18 2018, @12:32AM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday June 18 2018, @12:32AM (#694381) Journal
        • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by captain normal on Monday June 18 2018, @05:18AM (5 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Monday June 18 2018, @05:18AM (#694429)

          I was really referring to "Everybody living there has their DNA collected, not just babies like in California"
          But as pointed out below if you get all you so called facts from Faux News, You are headed into a very rude awaking sooner or later.

          --
          When life isn't going right, go left.
          • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by realDonaldTrump on Monday June 18 2018, @08:11AM (2 children)

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Monday June 18 2018, @08:11AM (#694449) Homepage Journal

            Wow, you say a lot of VERY DUMB things. And "people" love you for it. That's very special. The headline says tourists. And possibly that's as far as you got. The story says "citizens, temporary residents and tourists." Anonymous Coward said "everybody living there." Same difference!!!!

            • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by DannyB on Monday June 18 2018, @03:55PM (1 child)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @03:55PM (#694553) Journal

              Trump can take comfort that God can use even a total and complete jackass. See story in Numbers 22 [biblehub.com] at verse 21.

              However history and experience makes an occurrence of God using a jackass appear highly unlikely. We're skrooowed.

              --
              To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:00PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:00PM (#694644)

                God told Pat Robertson to run for President but then didn't tell anyone to vote for him. At least God has a sense of humor.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @04:03PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @04:03PM (#694559)

            That user account is a complete troll and just makes up bullshit, stop replying to it.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:03PM (#694646)

    Neither article mentions if any family members were stalked by police while being eliminated as suspects, [...]

    Or in more reasonable terms "if family members were staked out or followed while being eliminated as suspects," which is only stalking in the minds of extreme Libertarians, or if the police are engaged in extra-legal activities.

    You might as well say "Neither article mentions if family members were abducted by UFOs while being eliminated as suspect, or whether cattle mutilations were up" for all the relevance it has.

(1)